My Question and My Answer

FPQI rarely post an answer my own weekly Provocative Question prompt. I’m more interested in reading what you guys think than in posting my thoughts on the subject. But then I read Karyn’s response to today’s provocative question and I decided to give a brief, but heartfelt and somewhat depressing response to the question, “What is something you’ve long believed to be true, but you now realize is not true?”

I was taught in school and I’ve always believed that the United States is a representative democratic republic and that the U.S. government is of the people, by the people, and for the people. But now, in the age of Donald Trump and Trumpism, I realize that my long-held belief about what America is supposed to be is no longer true.

Rally Fatigue

I think it was number seven. Perhaps number eight. Or number nine. I don’t know. I’ve lost count.

The first one was the day after the inauguration. My wife wore her knitted pink pussy hat to that one. There were thousands of people there. And then there was the one protesting the Muslim ban. The one protesting the attempt to repeal Obamacare. The one protesting the new tax laws. The one to protest the administration’s assault on women’s reproductive rights. The one to protest the rollback of environmental protections and the denial of science and climate change. And the one to protest the separation of children from their parents who were seeking asylum in the United States.

Yesterday’s rally was to protest the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. There were banners and signs. There was music. There were local politicians and other speakers.

D92F7195-7EF0-400F-9DCC-4D108696118B7BC4450C-8189-4D2A-B98E-C7EEACDEA111AAAC8327-253D-4F3D-A597-B2F7C534F57FThe only thing that was missing were the protesters. Maybe 500 or so people actually showed up at City Hall. Not tens of thousands like there were on January 21, 2017. Not the thousands who protested the Muslim ban, the Obamacare repeal, the tax laws, threats to women’s rights, science and climate change denials, and family separations. Not even close to a thousand people showed up yesterday.

I’ve noticed that with each rally to protest Trump-related actions, the crowd sizes have grown smaller. I don’t think the drop off in participation is because the purposes for the rallies are less important, less critical. I think it’s a case of rally fatigue.

Trump has given us so many reasons to protest and to march and to rally. There new are causes to fight with every passing week and I fear that people are growing tired and numb and frustrated because nothing is changing. So what’s the point?

We can’t get lazy. We can’t give up. We can’t be apathetic. That’s what got us here in the first place.

We must continue to resist, to protest, to rally, to march, to make our voices heard if we don’t want Trumpism to become the new American normal.