Yesterday, I followed my own plea to you and watched the inauguration of Donald Trump. I listened. I took it in. I made myself feel the raw emotion. What I heard was a speech delivered by a man who lacked humbleness. What I gathered was his lack of understanding that the campaign was over. Trump won. He is our President. What I felt was disappointment in the missed opportunity to really make an effort and unite.
Sure, as internet memes point out today President Trump said “we” forty some odd times in his remarks. However, simply saying “we” does nothing to actually pull us together and unite. Yes, words are powerful but the word “we” only goes so far when Trump and others in control of Congress have publicly advocated policies that separate and isolate certain groups in a negative way. You must question who is included in his use of the term “we.”
Because of what I witnessed yesterday, today I participated. I joined at a minimum 1,000 people in downtown Fargo for the “Women’s March.” A part of a larger day of participation all across the country. Sure it was organized around support for women, but it wasn’t solely about them. It was for our family with disabilities. It was for our neighbors who practice their faith. It was for our LGBT friends. It was for veterans. It was for the blue collar mechanic. It was for the Carhartt wearing farmer. It was “we” Americans, all gathered to support the collective diversity that is our great Nation. The diversity that was used to divide us during the 2016 campaign.
We’ve heard Congressional Republicans along with our new President declare November 8th’s electoral victory gave them a “mandate” to pursue their policies. That claim is tough to uphold specifically for Trump who lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes. Today, it appeared a large portion of those three million voters rallied in a signal to Washington they will not go quietly. They will organize, participate, volunteer, and if you do wrong in their eyes vote against you. If nothing else, today’s large numbers showed the population missing from the “we” in the Trump and Republican policies that they are not alone.
I don’t want you to get it twisted. I still hope President Trump succeeds but it must be in a way that lifts us all up. A Presidential success so that “we” all succeed. I will point out the times when I agree and I will be vocal in the times we do not. That is part of our democracy and our duty. It was refreshing to see millions across the country send that same message today.
Here is a video of the Fargo Women’s March captured by our friends at Fargo Underground.
UPDATE: Estimates are now that at least 3,000 people joined the Fargo march.