This Saturday, I will not be attending the protest march on Washington, although I live only a few minutes away from that location.
This march suggests that Donald J. Trump’s inappropriateness is somehow worse than the government abuses under Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
I won’t support that kind of value reversal. I will not engage in the fantasy that idiotic locker room humor is worse than bombing civilians, or hypocritically refusing to pardon people for marijuana use after admitting to marijuana use. I will not pretend that Trump’s election antics are worse than warrantless wiretapping, or the Patriot Act, or the Wall Street bailout.
If and when Trump bombs his first wedding or hospital, I will happily march in protest. If and when he refuses to scale back or end the drug war, I will march in protest. If and when he supports a Wall Street bailout, or a program as diseased as Common Core, I’ll gladly march. If he wastes money on a wall, I will march. If he refuses to pardon Snowden or dismantle the Patriot Act, I will march. If he creates a Muslim Watch List, I will march.
But this protest is not about that. It is about people acting as if every kind of abuse is fine, except for social rudeness. These are the same people who refused to protest war, the War on Drugs, the Patriot Act, or warrantless surveillance under Obama. They tacitly approved all of those things, and now are further extending that tacit approval in this march.
They are saying that Trump’s rude humor is worse than all of that. After all, they didn’t lift a finger to oppose those inexcusable actions, but they came in from all over the country to oppose Trump’s rudeness.
For a political movement to be taken seriously, it must consider more important issues as…more important. Bill Clinton’s continuation of the War on Drugs and signing of the Defense of Marriage act was far worse than sexual infidelity. The fact that the media and public focused on the latter just made them look silly. This march is no different.
I will not support a political ideology that suggests a whiff of sexism or racism is worse than the blatant abuses of government power over the last years. Because when you march against the former, but excuse the latter, that’s exactly what you are saying.
I am keenly aware of the political and personal advantages in attending the march. But logic, sanity, and conscience will not permit me to support the fantasy that impolite behavior matters more than blatant government abuse.