VOTES FOR WOMEN!

Vintage newspaper photo of suffragettes holding
I wonder what goes on inside Trump’s head. I wonder about this with the same befuddlement with which I wonder how snakes can move without any legs, how that guy I once saw on I-95 managed to get this far without the state police pulling him over for operating a vehicle with three tires and one bare rim, and vector calculus in general.

Trump’s brain is an alien thing to me. I’ve made so many mistakes over the past couple of years due to the fact that I’ve been trying to interpret the man’s statements and strategy with the same software I’ve used every day since I received the “Comprehend The Humans Instead Of Just Being Alarmed By Them All The TIme” system update. But Trump is an edge case, for sure.

Today, my social media feeds are loaded with photos from protest marches. Nearby and far away, in my own country and on the other side of the world, and they’re mostly the same photo: streets packed with people, carrying children and/or signs…and all of them expressing utter contempt for Donald Trump.

Yeah, yeah: these aren’t photos from every large American city. There are cities that are so red that they drop raspberry jam when you poke at them. I assume the crowds are thinner there but I don’t assume there are no protests.

What goes through Trump’s head when he sees these images and videos?

Can he really dismiss these hundreds of thousands of people as, collectively, “the elites”?

Or is there some sort of nictitating membrane that clicks over his eyes to protect his ego from seeing something that might damage it?

Does he see it, but immediately dismiss these protests as irrelevant?

Does he see it, and then update his enemies list?

Or does he see it, and then instinctively know how he can exploit it? Turn these images and videos into another red flag to wave in front of his supporters, to distract them?

For a man who’s emotionally-tethered to Twitter, and who’s proven himself to have the highest ratio of Level of Success to Thinness of Skin, he seems to have made himself immune to one of its most damaging features: its ability to inundate an individual with negativity. Does he have his own Mister Smithers, printing out thousands of pages of Tweets with all of the critical ones removed?

I might have been out there at the Boston protest. To be honest, I hadn’t given it much thought. Also, I had tickets to something this afternoon.

I’d have been carrying a sign reading “VOTES FOR WOMEN”. An oldie, but a goodie. Today, women certainly have the right to vote, but they apparently don’t have the influence that their numbers should carry. We have a President who campaigned on an anti-women platform that he didn’t even bother to disguise.

“VOTES FOR WOMEN” sums up my feelings today.

First, it reminds me that there is no happy ending to the fight for social justice. There are victories and there are happy moments. But the struggle never ends. For every foot of ground gained, there’s always a group trying to take two feet back.

And: given a choice between two candidates who both seem qualified, I’m going to vote for the woman. It’s all too obvious that more of our lawmakers and policymakers need to be people whose understanding of issues affecting women isn’t 100% abstract.

Finally: it seems like it would be fast and easy to letter.

And when I say VOTES FOR WOMEN, I’m also thinking

  • Votes for people with non-European ancestors
  • Votes for naturalized citizens and people with immigrant parents
  • Votes for people whose ancestors were already here before any of the above came along
  • Votes for people with disabilities
  • Votes for LGTBQ people (and any letters I might have left out, in my ignorance)
  • Votes for non-Christians
  • Votes for people who’ve been personally affected (i.e., themselves or someone close to them) by poverty or homelessness
  • Votes for people who’ve been personally affected by mental illness
  • Votes for people who’ve been personally affected by chronic or terminal illness
  • Votes for people who’ve been personally affected by chemical dependency
  • Votes for people who are, were, or are family members of: teachers, police officers, firefighters, military, and any other career that involves giving much to society and receiving too little in return
  • Really young people, especially if they want to join Congress because of the healthcare benefits
  • Really old people, assuming that they weren’t in there already; same reason

This is not, I stress, a knock against white heterosexual males who were raised Christian. I happen to be one of those. I assure you that I’m one of my favorite people.

But we’ve had loads of those people in state and federal legislatures and we’ve loads more lined up trying to get in. That particular perspective on America is well-covered and well-defended.

Every type of American who doesn’t get representation in Congress is another blotch on the lens of our legislature, and thus our collective will. Their exclusion prevents us from seeing the whole picture of America clearly. Solving big problems becomes impossible.

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