Yesterday, an unpopular man was inaugurated. It was a nasty drizzly day, and we can’t blame the small crowds entirely on his unfortunate personality, but on the other hand the nation wasn’t exactly dancing in the streets.
But the news wasn’t the man. It wasn’t what he said and what he did, or who came and who didn’t. The big story was the carefully-orchestrated riot of a thousand protesters in downtown DC, the torched limo and broken windows and two hundred arrests and six injured cops.
And then the sun rose, and half a million pink wool hats spread across the Mall, filling the streets to bursting.
There were parallel rallies in cities all across the country and similar gatherings all over the world.
Some want to take ownership of this event, to tell us what it means in a way that advances their own agenda. CNN tells us this is an anti-Trump protest; some pro-lifers say this was about abortion. And they’re not wrong, but that’s not the whole or even the important truth here.
The Washington march was billed by its organizers as a rally of support, championing the rights of all people, equally, as individuals. What could possibly be more American than that? How could anyone object?
Yes, a lot of people are adding the caveat that they’re affirming rights because they’re afraid our new president will take them away. An awful lot of people attended to protest his election, and that’s appropriate; everyone has their opinion, and it’s part of the glory of our system that they are freely expressing it. But we shouldn’t miss that a lot of people who voted Trump and support him now still marched today. Quite a few are pro-life. And why? Because everyone is in favor of freedom and rights and human dignity.
Yes, even Republicans. Well, a lot of of them, anyway. At least half.
Okay; cheap joke, and not really all that funny. But I’ll leave it here because it perfectly illustrates my point: We spend so much time hating each other, we forget our true enemies.
Poverty. Ignorance. Intolerance. Hatred. War.
Today, a lot of people came together to march for something good. If there’s an “against”, it’s against all these evils. This wasn’t a protest; it was a rally — and it was beautiful.