(Dan here)n There are all sorts of ideas about what is going on right now in the US, and many proposed opinions. Yves offers an opinion on the Women’s March itself, but I am watching both locally and state wide (MA) where the follow up is actually happening, what forms it takes, and who is involved. Perhaps others can add knowledge and experiences to date. Certainly Democratic party leaders at the national level are searching for responses. I am going to leave my own experiences in the comments…I think this time around involvement by newcomers and activists might persist and figure out how to keep this energy effective. On the other hand, the testing of dedication is yet to come.
Yves here. I’m hoisting this discussion from Water Cooler the day before yesterday. It echoes other doubts raised about the Women’s March, such as the ones in the Counterpunch story, No Pink Woolly Caps for Me. Seasoned protestors point out that the track record of non-issue-oriented marches, no matter how large scale, is poor, and the status of this march as officially sanctioned (blanket media coverage when other marches of hundreds of thousands of people have been minimized, police not tricked out in their usual riot gear) also indicates that the officialdom does not see it as a threat to the status quo.
In addition, as the discussants point out below, the March organizers’ demands were vague and not internally consistent. The reality was that the march was against Trump, as opposed to for a concrete policy program.
And the problem with pressing for a quick solution to le problème Trump is that the likely outcomes are almost certain to be worse. A Constitutional outcome means President Pence, with even more retrograde policies. (It is oddly unacceptable to point out that Trump spoke out forcefully about the importance of protecting gays after the Florida nightclub massacre, a first for a prominent Republican.) Pence is more conservative, has strong relations in Congress, has a smoother persona, and would create vastly less controversy than Trump. That means Pence would have greater ability to unify his party and get his agenda through.
And an unconstitutional solution, such as a coup, which too many people who should know better are cavalierly advocating, is hardly going to be a plus for the members of the 10% save those who feed at the military/surveillance state trough. People who carry guns for a living are conservative. And in Tahrir Square, where the demand of Mubarak was simply “Leave,” and the protesters had no plans for the day after their victory, ordinary Egyptians were worse off a year later than they were before the protests.
Finally, the continuing strong focus of the Democratic Party on rallying women does not look like a winning path back to power. Without making women a prominent theme of his campaign, Obama got 55% of female vote. With Hillary Clinton, where it was a cornerstone, exit polls showed 54% of the women voters surveyed saying they voted for Clinton.