Jean and I attended the Women’s March in Boston last Saturday, one of 600+ marches worldwide, to promote a very different vision than that of President Trump. It was exciting to be part of a crowd of 175,000 people, women, men and children, who peacefully gathered together with a progressive vision to support women’s rights, immigration reform, health care for all, protection of the environment and the rights of workers, ethnic minorities, and the LGBTQ community. Senator Ed Markey reminded us that Boston Common was where the American Revolution, the Abolitionist movement, the Suffragette movement all started, and where the Freedom Riders departed for the Civil Rights movement, and where the anti-Vietnam war protests were held. It was a moment in history, perhaps the largest march ever in Boston, and nationwide certainly the largest protest event in our history. I was proud to be part of it, despite my unease at being in such a large and tightly packed crowd.
President Trump, of course, could not stand the way the women had stolen the limelight from him, so he tried to compare the size of his inauguration crowd with the protest crowd on the Washington Mall the following day. He said his crowd was over a million people, when it was actually about 30% of that. When challenged, his spokesperson said that he had “alternative facts”. This is a preview of the next four years, where our President will present a set of “alternative facts” covering every aspect of our lives. Trump’s inauguration speech with its gloom and doom demonstrated the alternative lens through which he looks at the world. We are in for a very bumpy ride and will need to support one another.
We are going to need God’s saving help to get through the next four years. Perhaps we might pray as the Brits do for their Queen, “God save the President”. Also we might borrow from them another saying, “Keep Calm and Carry On”, which was on the famous poster designed by the British government to help people in the dark days of World War II. It is a suitable motto for our times also.