Wednesday, January 18, 2017

You're Never Too Old To March

Just a few days ago (or so it seems), the phone switchboard-if that's what they call it- at the United States Congress crashed. Completely. Even in this age of the most modern technology, it crashed.  Why?  Because millions of people got up in the morning and called their congressmen and women. And other people's congressmen and women. Because, in a moment of complete audacity and idiocy, a group of Republicans thought it would be a good idea to completely gut the ethics committee. In other words, they wanted no oversight.

I mention this, not to discuss the politics of the situation, which I tend to think is self explanatory.  The point is not the idiocy, the point is the intervention. People can make a difference. Especially when they are in large numbers, and especially when they are active voters.  What we do and how we act in between elections matters. Voting every four years is admirable, but these days it is not enough.

Which is why, at age sixty five, walking with a limp,  I intend to walk with many other women and men here in Denver. Walking, marching...neither are the purvey of the young.  In fact, almost every person I know who is involved, locally or in DC  (my former home) are women and men closer to my age than that of my daughter or son.

Now, some will say this is whining. Some will say it's time for acceptance. Some will say I am a poor sport, and some will wonder what I hope to accomplish, or aren't I afraid that I might look silly.  The answer to the last one is no.

The answers to those other questions are fairly simple. I'm not a poor sport. I had a Bush, Bush and Reagan. While I disagreed with all of them more than once and voted for none, I believed that they were qualified and had the temperament. I also believed that they put America first. This election fits none of those criteria. I think even some conservatives and Republicans see that. And, since our future president has an approval rating almost forty points lower than the last two presidents when they took office, others see or are beginning to see as well. 

That said, why now, why this, why march? Everyone has their own reasons, but here are a few of mine:

  • We have a future president who has chosen as the head of the Justice Department one of the most racist public servants still living.  So much so that the last time he tried for any office, his own party disqualified him.  I mean, would you let Strom Thurman be that guy?
  • I have a daughter who most of her adult life has had annual physicals, mammograms, gyn tests, gotten weighted and gotten evaluated overall. All at Planned Parenthood. Note there is no mention of either abortion or birth control . Also note that without Planned Parenthood she could afford none of the above.
  • I have pre-existing conditions-more than one. As did my husband who would have been not insurable if he ever left the Federal government. As does a close friend who survived breast cancer and whose employer doesn't provide the hours for health care. As one of those with great health care, I am unwilling to kick others to the curb to fend for themselves, 20 million of them.
  • I'm a woman who has made a variety of reproductive choices over my lifetime.  Put simply, I believe everyone else should have that same right, without interference.  As my mommy (who made similar choices in her day) once said-it's between the woman, God and no one else.
  • I believe in equality, including marriage and bathroom equality for everyone, no matter gender (or much of anything else except adulthood). I hope to see my trans nephew happily married in my life time, so cabinet appointees who use words like aberration don't make me feel confident. On the contrary, it makes me start to think the clock is going to turn back-and not in a good way. Donald Trump supports bathroom bills and is against protections for the LGBT community.
  • In the same vein, I have friends of color and friends of all faiths. My daughter's best friend and the neighbor across the street for many years is Muslim. She is afraid, and I am not confident in telling her not to be. Protections and rights as we know them are under attack.
  • I oppose sexual assault, intimidation and harassment. Aside from the fact that our president elect is most likely guilty of sexual assault )more than once), he has also appointed two cabinet members who favor rolling back protection for women's rights and assault-including not punishing colleges who don't investigate sexual assault.
  • I believe we have an ethical situation in this country that is fairly unmatched, historically. We have a future president who is unwilling to separate his business, family and national interests. I have little reason to believe he will put the latter before the former two, as evidence by his refusal of blind trusts just for starters.
  • And last but not least, I believe the security of this country is in jeopardy and I say that as a former military member and foreign service employee who has tons of friends in both camps. Folks, Putin is no ones friend. He wants to rule the half of the world that China does not. If folks would actually read and learn, they would see that he is a frightening individual. Anyone who puts his relationship with a despot (personal and financial) above real American security concerns is in my opinion unqualified and deserves watching
Now, I have no idea how far I will walk, or how well. But I do know that what we do (all of us), how we act and the message we send makes a difference.  And so I march. I begin an Immigration and sanctuary ministry. I call my congressman-regularly. And I remain vigilant.  It is after all, the least I can do.

*****Polite comments, even those that are of different opinions are welcome as always on these kind of posts. insults, yelling and screaming will be deleted. Please keep it civil so I don't have to return to moderation.  Thanks everyone!

23 comments:

  1. My cousins are walking in that march in Denver - good for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been trying to decide if I am better off doing support and will hold everyone back, as slow as I limp these days.

      Delete
  2. I like you more every time I read your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm going to march too. Got COPD but the march begins and ends just a couple of blocks from my home so I think I can go some of the way if I run out of steam at least I'll still be there. Support is a good way to go too. I agree with Wendy. I'm enjoying your blog and you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Good for you - to march and support what you believe in. That's the American Way. I don't like crowds and hoards of people - I'm best doing my own thing, my own way-

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am a Canadian who will be marching with my daughter at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton Alberta. [ with my cane ! ] I was sexually assaulted as a young teacher by a Board consultant. I remember the prevailing attitude of the 70's. I brought up my daughters to be strong and independent as I have my sons. I taught them to respect others, to be kind . They are empathetic adults of whom I am very proud. We are afraid of the chaos , now and to come, with the election of DT. We are not immune to it in Canada. June

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree with 100% of what you say in this blog. Time for America to wake up, not "get used to it!!"

    ReplyDelete
  7. I agree, time to wake up and connect with others. I encourage checking out this website of Million Women's Voices https://www.millionwomensvoices.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. You totally express my concerns and fears.

    ReplyDelete
  9. 100% in agreement.

    Go, Barb, go!

    Joan, Michigan

    ReplyDelete
  10. I agree with everything you said. It's not the same to feel we have to get over he won, but who this man is and his choices border on insane.(Devos, Ben Carson, and a white supremist ,Jeff Sesssions,
    Good luck Marching. I know there a huge crowd from our area going to Sacramento and San Francisco. I have a terrible cold and am a crowd phobic😃

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you so much for listing and explaining the reasons why many of us march. I'll be marching in St Paul with tens of thousands of other Minnesota women (and some men). Keep hope alive! Yes we can!

    Dr Rin Porter

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good for you, and everyone else marching.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Barbara,

    I've been reading your blog for a long time but have never commented before. All I can say is "right on, right on, right on!" We will be with you and you will be with us as my 78 year old mother and I march in Portland Oregon today!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I attended the women's rally in Edmonton, AB, yesterday. There were females & males, young & old. Some of the signage spoke to me - I can't believe we're still talking about this; men of quality aren't threatened by equality; we matter. I have been asked for my husband's signature on a bank loan; I've been asked at the door for the man of the house; I've been asked who the head of the house is when what was really wanted was who was responsible for payment (it was me); when building a house I was told by a contractor that he didn't talk with me, he talked with the building contractor - I had to remind him that I was signing the checks; I've participated in union talks with male board members who were adamant that the female nurses only needed "pin" money and would be taken care of by their husbands. YES, we're still talking about this. YES, we're still rallying for equality. YES, we matter.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I thought this was a blog about frugal retirement living? I was hoping I could learn about it, my mistake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is not my blog. But I really need to say something here. You need to understand that we can talk about what is in our heart or know to be true on the blogs we own. And if you don't think this election is about retirement, you are sadly wrong. The first thing congress wants to go after is Social Security, Medicare, etc. The Republican congress calls those services entitlements. Pay attention for your own good.

      Delete
    2. Hi there camper. This blog is about retirement living, with the accent of living richly on a fixed income. Since I consider the issues above go be of major importance to all people, including retirees, so it goes. Should you be intereted in learning about living on a fixed income, stick around. Or read the many years of posts already here.

      Delete
  17. Barbara,

    I loved this post. You make me proud to be an older woman that has lived to see more than she cares to. I also applaud your section about Planned Parenthood. There really is so much more. Why do I think they also provide birth control or access to it?

    Thank you.

    b+

    ReplyDelete
  18. I don't normally comment on political rhetoric....but "Patience is a virtue...." Let's wait and see what happens.....we have had many, many leaders in our country who have gone against the grain.....we are still here.....and we STILL have the greatest living conditions not to mention freedom in the world.

    Be patient.

    Jo

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was out there marching too, Barb!

    ReplyDelete