Sunday, January 21, 2018

2018 Women's Marches Need to Lead to Voter Turnout Surge

2018 crowds in Washington DC
On the anniversary of the inauguration of the most vile and unfit individual to ever occupy the White House, hundreds of thousands of protesters against Trump/Pence and the GOP turned out in cities across America.  The message they seek to send is lost on that individual and the congressional Republicans who have forced the federal government into shutdown through their high handed demands and noxious policies.   While it is encouraging to see that the resistance to the foul forces embodied by Trump/Pence and today's GOP is alive and well, the true test will be whether the energy can be successfully translated into a voter surge in November that will send countless Republicans to defeat at the polls at all levels of government.  Only a GOP electoral bloodbath can reset the direction of the nation.  In Virginia, Republican suffered a massive defeat last November, but it may take more than one election cycle to turn the corner - Virginia Senate Republicans are continuing their toxic policies and need to be decimated in the 2019 election cycle.  The Washington Post looks at some of the huge turnout across the country:
From Beijing to Buenos Aires, from Denver to Dallas, from California to the Carolinas, hundreds of thousands of activists once again took to the streets to protest the policies and presidency of Donald Trump. The number of participants might not have eclipsed the millions who marched in cities a year ago, but the “resistance” still brought out swarms of people from Los Angeles to Philadelphia.
Saturday’s march made clear how a movement that began as a protest has evolved. A year of the Trump presidency, coupled with the galvanizing experience of the #MeToo moment, has made activists eager to leave a mark on the country’s political system. As a result, a key component of Saturday’s demonstrations was an effort to harness the enthusiasm behind the Women’s March and translate that into political sway at the polls this fall.
“Last year it was about hope. This year it’s about strength,” said Diane Costello, 67, a retired teacher and member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a group that advocates for gun violence prevention, said as she marched through Manhattan.
“2018 is going to be a great year to get more progressive people elected,” said Julie Biel-Claussen, 59, executive director of the McHenry County Housing Authority in northwest Illinois, as she marched through a chilly Chicago morning.
Outside Washington, one of the biggest demonstrations on Saturday unfolded in New York.
Nearby, demonstrators gathered near the Lincoln Memorial and along the still-frozen reflecting pool on the National Mall. The group heard from speakers such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who told the crowd, “It is women who are holding our democracy together in these dangerous times.”
Although many protesters were returning for a second year, many came for the first time — some so young they had not been able to vote in the 2016 election.
Across the river in Morristown, N.J., a line of charter tour buses unloaded marchers behind the town hall, an overflow crowd that Police Chief Peter Demnitz estimated had reached 15,000 by 11:30 a.m., along with some counter protesters.
Organizers say they chose Morristown because of its Revolutionary War history as the winter encampment site of George Washington’s army. Last year’s event in Trenton drew an estimated 7,500.
By late morning, crowds in Chicago stretched from Jackson Street two blocks south to Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, and clogged Congress Parkway to Michigan Avenue. Organizers claimed to have eclipsed the 250,000 marchers from last year, despite only 40,000 signing up online.
The majority of signs protesters carried through Chicago focused on the Republican Party and Trump. Among them: “Ikea has better cabinets,” “The GOP is responsible for making America hate again” and “GOP, OMG, WTF.”

All this energy needs to be harnessed and used to turn out a huge surge in the minority and Millennial vote in November.  If this happens, the marches will have really accomplished something lasting.  Virginia showed that it can be done.  P.S. Our new Governor joined the marchers in Richmond:

Elizabeth Melson (left) holds a banner with recently elected Governor Ralph Northam on their march through Carytown on Saturday, Jan. 20.

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