On America Held Hostage, Day #64 — but who’s counting? — after seven years of bellyaching, that brilliant, or merely brilliantined, widow-peaked, Wisconsin heartthrob, Paul Ryan was unable to marshal the repeal of the Affordable Care Act through Congress. For now, widows can breathe a little easier on their Medicared-for portable oxygen, and Ryan is as popular as a Noro virus on a cruise ship.
Despite the media’s breathless reporting on the probability that the ACA would live to fight another day, I fully expected some last-minute, heartbreaking news, in Russian, of a TrumpDon’tCare victory. I do not wait around in the bleachers at the Javitts Center for the balloon drop anymore.
But Trump pulled out at the last moment, something I’m sure he has bragged about in golf club locker rooms all over the world. Repeal was repelled. When I heard the news, I did high-five some bewildered people on an elevator, but that was it. In the cruel totality of Trump world, a win can feel so creepy. It’s as if for a surprise one afternoon, Trump put us in our red MAGA hats, piled us all in his truck (he hearts trucks), took us all to the mall for an ice cream, but then it was back to the basement bunker for us.
My cynicism didn’t last long because the next day, Day #65, was the nine-week anniversary of the Women’s March on Washington. I still commemorate it every Saturday. I pop on my Planned Parenthood pink pussy hat and stand outside my building for an hour with my sign: Drain the Golf-Courses.
The March was the largest single day protest in American history. It was led by women — 1.2 million marched in D.C., 3.6 million marched throughout the rest of the nation. One of every 100 Americans marched that day.
When they marched back home they kept on protesting. Citizens mobbed town hall meetings to let their representatives know what they felt about ACA repeal. That was real news to the reps and the protests defeated the GOP’s health care repeal effort. That and those scary Freedom Caucus Deathers who always are so disappointed if anyone, other than themselves, lives. You would think they’d be all for abortion funding. You would be wrong.
Day after day, protesters stood vigil outside Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s home, chanting, “Do your job.” His constituents even parked a skeleton in his driveway to show him what a spine looks like. Schumer will lead a filibuster to thwart the nomination of that smarmy, anti-woman, anti-trans, two-faced, silver-haired Boulderian, Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
The leaders of the Women’s March, Black Lives Matter, Indivisible, the Color of Change and many, many more groups have reverse-engineered Teahaddist tactics but without the violence, nationalism and racism. They are organizing the backlash before votes happen, not after. They are using new power to push old power either into action or out of the way.
The old power is finally seeing, or remembering, the importance of movement building for an electoral strategy. The new power is seeing the importance of an electoral strategy for movement building. This transition to a non-binary singularity is critical for democracy to survive Hair Trump. One need look no further than the fact that though 750,000 turned out to march in Los Angeles only 14 percent of voters turned out in the LA mayoral race a few weeks later. What the Fascism?
Before the presidential campaign, the Clintons dissolved their Foundation. Despite all the fake news stories, the Foundation challenged corporations to be more responsible for the care of the world by funding innovative research and development initiatives. Compared to the Trumps’ corporate entanglements, the Clintons were less than emolumental.
As the last Clinton standing, I am announcing my own Clinton Initiative with huge cash-prizes (in bitchcoins). I am accepting any and all strategic proposals to make marchers and non-marchers into voters. The challenge is how to make the popular vote really popular.
In the long-haul of the resistance, I’ve heard many conversations about the importance of self-care. Voting equals self-care.
Kate Clinton is a longtime humorist. She writes regularly for the Blade.