Today I participated in the Boise Women’s March on Idaho, one of hundreds of marches around the world. Many have asked why we marched. The crowd in Boise was somewhere over 5,000 people (I’ve been to lots of marches here and this was, by far, the largest) and I suspect there were 5,000 different reasons why people came together to march. I won’t speak for them all. I’ll just speak for myself.
I’m not marching to pretend that someone else was magically elected to the presidency, or even because I’m a sore loser. I’ve been on the losing side of presidential elections many times, and have marked the peaceful transfer of power without fearing for the future of our democracy or for the safety of our citizens.
This election was different. I would be relieved to be wrong about my fears, and I pray he will prove me wrong. While I pray, I will continue to march, to speak out, and to stand in vocal resistance to those policies that are un-Christian, unjust, and which threaten the safety and flourishing of women, people who are LGBTQ, people of color, people of other religious backgrounds, people who are immigrants or refugees from other countries.
Here are a few of my concerns:
- The Cabinet. He is assembling the richest group of cabinet leaders in the history of our nation. Many of them have zero experience in those fields. Many of them have not submitted their ethics reviews.
Public Education, the Environment, Public Lands, Women’s Health, the Nuclear Codes–all of those things are about to be directed by people who are not qualified in any way to lead them.
- Women’s Health. Trump and the GOP are planning to defund Planned Parenthood. Ostensibly this is because they hate abortion. Practically, that’s a lie. PP clinics do not use federal money for abortions. The vast majority of the care people receive at Planned Parenthood is preventive health care–cancer screenings, contraception, and annual exams.
You know what makes the abortion rate go down? Providing access to contraception and health care. If the GOP and the Trump administration really cared about getting rid of abortions, they would give more funding to Planned Parenthood and other clinics that are meeting the needs of people who still don’t have full access to health care.
Which brings me to:
- Affordable Care Act. Trump had been in office for about 12 minutes before he started undoing the ACA, also known as Obamacare. It was never a perfect plan, which is what happens when compromise brings forth a new political solution. I am all for improving it.
Trump and the GOP, however, do not have a viable plan to improve or replace. They have a plan to repeal. People will die. I’m not being dramatic. I’m speaking a truth. People who do not have access to affordable health care die from preventable and treatable diseases.
4. His behavior. I keep waiting for him to become more “presidential”, by which I mean, to behave like an adult. I keep waiting for him to show respect for women, minorities, people who are differently abled, refugees, and political opponents. He normalizes sexual assault by making jokes about assaulting women.
He mocks people. He gets in petty twitter fights. He flouts the law of the land by disregarding ethics standards and by refusing to offer up his tax returns.
No president is perfect, to be clear. If any of my kids said some of the things that Trump said on the campaign trail or even after the election, they would be grounded. We are raising our children to be people who show respect, who honor other people, who seek understanding with people who disagree with them. We deserve as much from our president.
Many people are saying he’s “not my president”. And I get why they would say that. I’m going to continue to say he is my president, because that means he needs to listen to me, one of the citizens he just swore an oath on Abraham Lincoln’s bible to protect and serve.
And so I march.
Today was just the beginning.