President Donald Trump assumed his office with a 44 percent approval rating, the lowest rating ever recorded. 30.6 million people watched his inauguration on television. By comparison, 37.8 million watched television as President Barack Obama was being sworn in at his first inauguration in 2009.
As to the number of people who actually attended the inauguration, President Donald Trump disputes popular media accounts of the size of the throngs: Trump estimates the attendance at a million to 1.5 million, while conventional media fixes the attendance at 900,000.
After the inaugural, the next day, millions of women marched across the world in 600 cities, 50 states and 32 countries to bring a message echoed by the march’s national co-chair Tamika Mallory in a recent Facebook Live interview with Essence Magazine: “We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all.”
To President Trump, the marchers, in Washington D.C. chanted “Welcome to your first day. We will not go away.”
Along with women, many in pink hats, plenty of men showed up, contributing to the turnout everywhere from Tulsa, Oklahoma City, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles to Mexico City, Paris, Berlin, London, Prague and Sydney.
Not a single arrest was made during the Saturday Women’s March in Washington D.C. in stark contrast to the over 200 who were arrested during violent protest on the day of President Trump’s inauguration.
The guiding principles which governed the women’s march after the inaugural were based upon Dr. Martin Luther King’s principle of nonviolence: “to reconciled the world by raising the level of relationships among people to a height where justice prevails and persons attain their full human potential; to attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil; and to avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence.”
In addressing their concerns, the women have set an example for all to follow during the next four years.
At this particular time, why women all across the world decided to express themselves in the millions is in large part a reaction to the well-publicized chauvinistic and vulgar behavior of Donald Trump before he became president of the United States of America.
On national television, he was exposed bragging how he “would be best for women; how he “moved on her like a bi*ch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married; how he “did try and (expletive deleted but the word describes sexual intercourse) her. She was married. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the (expletive deleted but the word is also called “twats”). You can do anything.”
During the march, the pink hats worn by women were fashioned like a woman’s vagina. Mallory said, “If you… just protest Donald Trump, you’ve missed the mark…He is a symptom of a disease that already existed. He’s just going to give new voice to white supremacy, the racism, the sexism, the misogyny, all the stuff that was already there.” As such, the march is about much more than equal pay and reproductive rights for women — it’s meant to draw attention to institutional sexism and racism against women (particularly women of color who’ve been historically left out of the feminist movement), as well as LGBTQ rights and the rights of immigrants and lower-income people.”
He uses his Twitter account to make news, lob attacks or wage threats against those who disagree with him and, seemingly most centrally for Trump, create a community of ever-growing people who appear to agree with him wholeheartedly. It’s a dynamic, real-time messaging tool that’s under his complete control. He has become an expert at letting media — TV, radio and social — do it for him.
Trump has showed contempt for free speech and free assembly. He speaks of his “running war with the media.” He has called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth.” He has banned news outlets from rallies, attacked broadcasters for not showing on camera how big his crowds were, and encouraged his supporters to boo reporters at his events.
President Trump has tweeted, “If the press would cover me accurately & honorably, I would have far less reason to ‘Tweet’.” In the meantime, his press secretary Sean Spicer convened reporters for their first White House briefing and accused the media of false reporting the inauguration crowd size. President Trump insists that the crowd ranged from a million to 1.5 million while the press was reporting attendance at only 900,000.
On “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked Kellyanne Conway, special assistant to the President, why Spicer presented the media with “falsehoods,” she insisted, with a straight face, that they were simply “alternative facts.” In other words, if the President speaks “falsehoods” or twist the truth he expects his subjects to except it as truths.
The phrase “alternative facts” smacks of the term “Newspeak” coined by George Orwell in his novel named 1984. Newspeak was a language invented by a totalitarian government permitting the saying of one thing in the guise of its opposite in order to serve a political purpose while pretending to be objective.
He has proclaimed that “the president can’t have a conflict of interest.” But the claim is false from any moral perspective. The Supreme Court has written that when our leaders “engage in activities which arouse suspicions of corruption, those office-holders endanger “the very fabric of a democratic society.”
In the words of Harvard legal scholar Laurence Tribe, our 45th president is, “a walking, talking violation of the constitution from the moment he takes the oath.” We all have troubles ahead.