….. working on my second cup of coffee the morning after listening to President Trump’s Inaugural Address – maybe the worst inaugural address in our country’s history.
A rant, calling out every governing institution within reach with undertones of wrath, threatening, the dark soul of a man we presently call our leader.
The coffee is bitter this morning.
Then I remember: women are marching in Washington today in protest of our new leader and what he stands for, what he says, his hostility, his “policies.”
Turn on the TV … will anyone show up? …..Oh yeah! Wow! Thousands, tens of thousands; split screen – Washington, New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Brussels – Brussels? Hundreds of thousands!
I listen to the speakers: unity, sensitivity and sensibility, comity. Calls to our sense of community. Not what we heard yesterday. Cities in every state participating.
Before long I feel the tug, the pull: time to lace up the shoes, grab the hat and coat, fill the water bottle. Time to show up.
Reflecting, it’s been fifty-three years since I stepped off the curb in Washington DC, marched down Constitution Avenue, and listened in awe to Dr. King.
I can do it again! As a young pup of twenty-three I did it for myself, my fellows around me, my sense of what was right. And that was good.
Today I laced up my shoes, flexed the legs, drew deep breaths as before – but with even deeper responsibility.
Can an old campaigner look his kids in the eye, smile, nod knowingly to his grandkids, and say I’m too tired to show up again? I no longer have the strength to hoist a sign, a poster? Say that to them? Not a chance. Time to suck it up once more!
And oh what a scene greeted me upon arriving at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver! Thousands, tens of thousands of my neighbors, my sisters and brothers – yeah , lots of brothers. It was “huge!”
I strode – well walked – through the throng, smiling, nodding, greeting – all so courteous, so warm, understanding, community – reaching a wonderful vantage point where I stood, watching events unfold around me, listening to speakers committing themselves and us to the cause, the task ahead.
Many, many posters, but one particularly caught my eye: “I can’t believe we still have to protest this shit!” Well, we do. And history teaches us we must always be ready to do it again. The people’s voice — emphatically expressed — protecting what it, and they, hold dear. For the opposition is always there, always ready to push their selfish agendas when they espy an opportunity. So works democracy.
So kids, grandkids, give me a shout out! … and chill a Chardonnay…. The old man is back in the trenches.