My first ever political protest

While I have been in parades and candlelight vigils and such, I have never been in what could be called a political protest until this weekend.  But I am glad I did it.  In fact, it has given me a great deal of satisfaction, and has cheered me up somewhat from what has been for some time a generally dark mood.  The crowd ended up being MUCH bigger than was originally anticipated.  I think they were expecting maybe 90,000 people, but the totals were probably more like 150,000 to 175,000.

We saw these two women dressed as suffragettes, and I just had to get a picture with them. LOVED it.
We saw these two women dressed as suffragettes, and I just had to get a picture with them. LOVED it.

I would never have imagined that I would look back on the Presidency of George W. Bush with any type of nostalgia.  And I certainly never imagined that I would live to see a Presidency that was not only worse than Bush’s, but is well on the way to topping the administration of James Buchanan as the absolute worst Presidency of all time.

I know a lot of people voted for Trump out of frustration with the awful state of American politics.  I get that.  I am also disgusted by the level of absurdity that has found its way into national politics.  But I would also argue that voting for a candidate that some people called a ” human hand grenade” was a horrible idea. Sure, while it was indeed a wonderful way to say “F*** you” to the system that has let so many of us down, it also will have a great deal of unforeseen (certainly by a great many of his supporters, and probably the rest of us too) circumstances that will undoubtedly cause a HELL of a lot of collateral damage.  I am dreading it.

Want an example?  Here’s something that affects Kelly and me directly.

Within an hour – AN HOUR – of taking office, Trump signed an Executive Order that rolled back a cut in mortgage insurance rates for FHA loans that would have meant that starting January 27th, Kelly and I would have had to pay a lot less for our mortgage insurance.  So stopping that cut from taking place means that Kelly and I will probably pay an extra $1,000 or so a year.  Not a small amount, at least for us.  That’s an extra $80+ a month.

But allow me to put that aside for a moment and try to look at the big picture.

Trump just spent much of his first weekend as President picking fights with journalists and others about how big the crowds were at his inauguration, particularly as they compared to the crowds at Obama’s inaugurations.  And of course yesterday we saw what are now being called the largest inaugural protests in the history of this country.  Last I checked, estimates of total crowd sizes across the country showed a low end estimate of about three million, and that’s just in the United States, as there were sister protests in some 60 other countries and on all 7 continents, even including Antarctica.

The only other thing Trump did this weekend was give a speech at the CIA which I can only describe as… bizarre.  I assumed he would go there in an attempt to make nice with them after bashing the US intelligence community for some time.   Except that no, that isn’t really quite what he did.  Former head of the CIA John Brennan called Trump’s speech a ” despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes” and I think he pretty much hit the nail on the head with that description.  Instead of reaching out to them (which he kinda sorta did for a little while), he wandered off into topics such as how smart he is, how big his crowds are, how hard it has been for him to run for President, how young he feels, and how the media somehow manufactured all these lies about him having smaller crowds and about fighting with the intelligence community.

People keep waiting for him to suddenly transform into some sort of serious person, to “shift” away from campaign mode, to miraculously undergo some sort of change in which he becomes more Presidential.  If only that were true.

I strongly suggest that they wake up to the fact that he is NOT going to change, and the incredibly self-absorbed blowhard bully we have seen on TV for years is the exact same sort of President we are now going to have, God help us.  And by God, I am not going to stand for that.  I am just a little person, a tiny dot in a sea of people, but I still feel an obligation to do something.  In fact, I feel I must do more.  I was raised with a strong sense of civic responsibility (thanks, mom and dad) and I have always believed that I should do all I can to contribute to the greater good, the community at large.

And the country is in real trouble.  Trouble that a great many people still haven’t really grasped, sadly.  I believe that it is time that all good people in this country must stand up for what is right and challenge this angry feral oompa-loompa, this deranged id (in the Freudian sense) that has not a thimble-full of self-control or consideration for others.  None.

If I thought for a moment that Trump had any respect for the office of the President, I might be willing to give him a chance even if I disagreed with him on issues.  But I don’t think he does.  I really don’t.  Otherwise he wouldn’t be poo-pooing all the conflicts of interest that are coming up all the time.  He is going to milk the Presidency for all it’s worth, literally.  It’s all about boosting the Trump brand and making money.

Anyway, enough of that.  Time for some more photos and video and such.  We took quite a few pictures.

We met our friend Teri near the edge of Boston Common and made our way towards the gathering, which was quickly filling up the entire Common.  At this point, we couldn’t even really hear the speakers very well, only the cheers of the crowd.  As we got closer to the hill where the Civil War monument was located, the crowd continued to grow and the noise grew as well.

One of the best things about the event, at least for me, was the incredible variety of funny and clever signs that people made.

As someone fluent in HTML, Kelly especially loved this one.
As someone fluent in HTML, Kelly especially loved this one.
We ran into a couple we knew and this was their sign that they made.
We ran into a couple we knew and this was the sign they made.
Kelly also loves Grumpy Cat, and I actually saw several signs featuring her favorite angry feline.
Kelly also loves Grumpy Cat, and I actually saw several signs featuring her favorite angry feline.
One of my favorite signs from the protest. Notice the White Walker is wearing a red
One of my favorite signs from the protest. Notice the White Walker is wearing a red Trump hat.

The sign above says “Walls are for White Walkers” and has pictures of Jon Snow and the Night King.  This picture actually reminded me about something that I had thought about recently – an idea for a post that I have not yet written.  So I will wrap this post up (may put up more later, since we got so many pictures and I am sure Kelly will write at least one as well) and get to work on that one.

Stay strong, my friends.

-Geoff

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