You Are the Story

A reader and long time friend suggested that I ask how you feel about this coming weekend. You are the story.

I’ll toss out some ideas to stimulate your thinking but I hope to learn something from your comments. Of course this might be a total bust if there aren’t any but let’s see.

On Friday January 20 at noon, Donald Trump is scheduled to be inaugurated as our 45th President. I say, “scheduled to be” because there are many who still hope it will somehow be derailed.

On Saturday January 21, the Women’s March on Washington is scheduled to take place in more or less the same place as the inauguration but it will go from 10:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the afternoon.

I doubt much needs to be said about the inauguration but here are a few words about the march.

“We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families — recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.”

“The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us–women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.”

I can think of two pretty easy ways to think about these events but I am sure there are others.

You might prefer one to the other.

You might care a great deal or not so much. You might even be ignoring one or both completely.

My friend who suggested the idea kindly helped me to think about it. Here is what we discussed.

Are you thinking of a survey that could be analyzed? If so, one of the most interesting things to ask would be zip code.

Are you thinking more anecdotal?

Anecdotal will draw some rants and much silence. Nothing wrong with the rants because they are illustrative. Too bad about the silence because there is a very legit response of ignoring the whole thing. It will be hard to separate the ignorers from those who are loath to put their views out there.

I think we’d have to offer the prospect of considering the entire weekend including the march on Saturday.

As I re-read this, I see that I have focused on why are you are making the choice you are making for the weekend whereas you have asked the more straight forward question “what are you doing?”

We decided to ask the open-ended question because we thought there would not be enough responses to make any statistically meaningful observations. Besides, LibertyPell readers skew far too intelligent.

Over to you. If you would prefer anonymity please email your observation to haven@libertypell.com and I will post your comment without attribution.

 

 

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Haven Pell

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Without hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

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33 comments

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  • Trump hasn’t done anything yet. Nothing.

    Now, why is that?

    Why, it’s because he isn’t president yet.

    Why not march AFTER he has done stuff the marchers don’t like? Marching before he has done
    anything at all seems a trifle premature.

  • I’ll be working Friday but checking the internet occasionally to see what frivolities the leftists engage in. I’m pretty sure Roseann O’Donnell’s dream of martial law will not occur, at least not as she would wish it. Of course, if it did occur, it would be worth watching CNN for its version of the Rapture. I suspect there will be some misconduct by protesters, but that is stuff you can read about the next day and really is so boringly 1960s. On Saturday I’ll be cleaning my house and washing my clothes while some of the womenfolk are aggressively asserting their victimhood on the streets of the swamp. I will have exactly as much interest in that as I will in where the Washington, D.C., homeless will spend the night. I’ll bet that the womenfolk will not clean up after themselves but will leave the place looking trashy.

  • I am thinking of Winston Churchill who led the fight “Pessimists see difficulty in every opportunity. Optimists see opportunity in every difficulty.” I am an optimist!

  • I am proud to have this reader. This is subtle.

    Many attending the inaugural may be tempted to throw themselves under the Million Woman March.
    They should instead recall the hopeful example of Benjamin Harrison, and try to hide the President’s hat.

  • Trump has already done a great disservice to the US and to the world. After he becomes president, I expect that he will do a much greater disservice to both, much of which will be irreparable. I fully support the Women’s March in DC and the many others that will occur throughout the country.

  • an anonymous comment as promised.

    Where is the parade of our neglected veterans? There is a group that I’d march with.

  • As the reader and long time friend, I’ll record the swearing-in since I’ll be on a drive with my Miata Club. I will also congratulate all my non-moderate friends who during pre-election period demanded acceptance of the peaceful transfer of power.

  • I arrive early Saturday AM via Amtrak for my first March in Washington since the Moratorium in 1969; a month or so later, I landed in West Berlin for the last 10 months of my Army/NSA tour listening to the radio conversations of Russian Army exercises in East Germany. My last march was in January or February of 2003 on the streets of SF; I was sure W would pay no attention to us and felt no glory in swiftly being proven correct.

    The dozen or so friends from around the country who are in DC will likely find us near the temporary HQ of Planned Parenthood on the Mall. The Pundificator has my number; text if you’d like to get together.

    Why go?

    To be among those counted. To quietly say no. To let our elected representatives know they will be hearing from us about affordable health care for all; and civil rights; and voting rights; and climate change; and tax equity; and Social Security and Medicare; and even, most likely, about conflicts of interest., ethics, and probably emoluments, too. And I expect there will be battles over foreign policy and national security interests, too. And who knows, perhaps the third presidential impeachment hearings of our political lives will require voices to be raised.

    So this is a form of organizational practice. We’ll meet with others interested in seeing that the press has the spine, tools, and credibility to meet the coming challenges. And to meet activists who are already working to ensure that the next round of elections begins a rapid shift of the pendulum back to a place that makes more sense.

    And it’s been a couple of years since I last saw my oldest brother who served in the State Department from Kennedy in 1963 through to Obama in 2010. That will be good, too.

    • Why go?

      To be among those counted. To quietly say no. To let our elected representatives know they will be hearing from us about affordable health care for all; and civil rights; and voting rights; and climate change; and tax equity; and Social Security and Medicare; and …

      What a terrible waste of a day’s shooting on the Eastern Shore !

    • In spite of the Administration’s extensive golf experience, the Dems still try a cheap shot from a poor lie.

  • Anonymous comment

    I will be in D.C. for the weekend (first time ever)! I hope that I am able to witness the beginning of renewed strength in America.

    • Being out and about on both Friday and the weekend dramatically increases the chances of witnessing new strength…. Hoping your first visit to DC gives you lots to think and talk about in the months and years ahead.

  • I prefer to stay away from the toxic administration, ignore it until it makes policy that threatens rights gained with so much difficulty, the safety net, climate change, environmental degradation, international conflict and/or withdrawing from crucial commitments. I expect a lot of dumb stuff to be done, such as tariffs, but my hope is that in two years voters will at least change the senate. Not much sense in expending energy now. Who will listen? Anyone who speaks up against Trump is viewed as an enemy, rather than one with constructive criticism

  • I will be in Dallas, where I have been employed for most of my adult life as a local news reporter, mostly covering drainage. The common man has little idea how important drainage is. As I said often to my son when he was growing up, “As drainage goes, so goes the world.” I was quite disappointed when I learned that Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” was a mere “figure of speech.” Washington has huge drainage issues dating back to the time of its founding, but this is always swept under the rug in favor of the “high profile issues.” I think Trump is a Russian, but I’m OK with that.

  • Kyri and I will be attending the Concord NH version of the woman’s march – not as dramatic as flying to DC, but still a little something. And, of course, we are savoring the 5:1 woman’s march advantage in bus permits.

    Generally I am relatively happy with the outcome of the election. It is hard to argue that Hillary would not have made a far superior president, but she would have been destroyed by Chaffetz, McConnell, etc.; the GOP would have returned a very super majority in the senate in ’18 and the dems might not see the white house again for a very long time. This way we have excellent odds of retaking it in ’20; and, if we significantly retool, we may keep it for a while.

    The country elected a carnival barker. I for one intend to sit back and enjoy the show as the GOP implodes. Of course, there is the possibility of WWIII, a major land war with Iran, a trade war with our greatest potential trading partner, thousands dying from lack of basic health care, Flynn arrested as a Russian spy and the inner cities in flames as white cops pick off black kids with abandon. Significant downsides, but that’s what we voted for….

  • Friday is “Steak and Clays” night at the OK Corral Gun Club in Okeechobee, FL. Now that is worthwhile, especially the steaks grilled to order and the salad bar. I wonder if I can improve my score by pretending that the clays are PC swamp dwelling hypocrites indulging in identity politics. On second thought, if I do that I’ll probably fall asleep from the boring predictability.

    • ” pretending that the clays are PC swamp dwelling hypocrites indulging in identity politics”.

      If you must shoot clays, try for a right and a left , letting them respectively represent Henry and Cassius Marcellus

  • I, and almost everyone I know, Republican and Democrat, am not happy at him becoming President.

    Other than lacking the temperament, experience, reasoning skills and interest that are requisite for the role, it is reasonably clear to many of us that he will not be able to successfully achieve what Joe Biden so succinctly told him he needed, when he said grow up and become an adult.

    But here is an idea: I’m thinking that one way out of this upcoming nightmare would be to modify the Constitution, and give him the position he really wants, which is not President (too many pesky meetings, details and decisions requiring thought and comprehension), and instead make him King, or Potentate, or Glorious Something, following the English model.

    I believe that he would take that opportunity in a heartbeat: It would give him the spotlight that he so craves, as well as the opportunity to further enrich himself and his family in whatever means he can command, but no power to pass or veto laws or legislation, or make appointments, and definitely no finger on the nuclear trigger, and instead leave others who are more qualified to make the quotidian decisions necessary in the role of President.

    Having done that, it would leave us free to once again hold an election for a real President.

    He would be able to use his own plane, and his own security, and spend his time in front of crowds, feeling their love, while praising or vilifying anyone he chose at that moment, and tweeting to his fingers’ content.

    I have not seen any march or movement backing this idea, but if there were, I would be happy to be a part of it

    • My son (who voted as did Pundificator for the Libertarian) and I agree that we will support Trump’s impeachment after 2 or 3 SCOUS appointments.

  • I will be participating in the march. It will be the most patriotic thing I have ever done. It has nothing to do with being on the left; it has everything to do with standing up for the simple values of equality, decency, truth, humility, knowledge, proportionality, respect, fact, history, freedom of the press, ethics, manners, intelligence, informed debate, integrity, diplomacy, self-control, service, complexity, modernism, the English language, the dignity of the presidency, a modicum of taste and anything close to the high road…all of which have been openly and repeatedly rejected as even a tiny bit important by this president-elect. That’s what I’m about and I am horrified to have a president who is proud to stand for none of these things. I am not marching because I feel like a victim. Assuming so is merely a convenient way to misinterpret and then demean what so many of us are doing next weekend.

  • Societies can and will survive any one personality/leader! Results are the imperative and we must await them. The shock is that anyone can step from private life directly to POTUS w/o passing thru various political positions for ticket punching – dog catcher, landfill inspector 🙂

    We’re in for one hell of a ride! Buckle up snowflakes prepare to enjoy America Great Again

  • Dunno about ‘identifying as LBQIA/whatever’, I’m plain old QWERTYIOP
    What is the big fuss – Trump hasn’t done anything yet. Strikes me that your society is becoming even more self-indulgent when you have a protest march about something that hasn’t happened . Will there be a re-match if Trump makes your economy strong and everyone feels more comfortable? BTW I’m surprised on both sides of the pond that people didn’t see it coming – the generation which gave you love, peace and anti-war demos was always capable of voting against the establishment just for the sake of it

  • As I recall marching on Washington several times against the Vietnam war(not the soldiers, the war) I find myself thinking that all that effort was just too late for the 50,000 who died and countless others whose lives were damaged or destroyed.
    So why March this weekend? Well, maybe an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure .
    And to those who say Trump has done nothing yet must have missed the campaign.
    I truly hope things go well, but I must admit I am quite nervous.