I wanted to write a different story than this.
I wanted to write that today, on the day that the Electoral College formally votes to make Donald Trump the next President of the United States, Americans took to the street in protest and showed the depth and passion of opposition to Trump’s fascist politics.
I’d like to write about that, but that’s not what’s happening.
I came to Washington DC today to take part in an anti-Trump protest starting at 9:00 this morning. I expected to hear the protest from at least a block away. I expected to see a plaza filled with demonstrators.
Instead, this is what I found:
That’s it. There weren’t more than 20 people at the protest. They were standing on the sidewalk calmly, holding up just a few signs, hoping that a few cars driving by might honk their horns.
No cars were honking.
I applaud these people who turned out to protest against President Elect Trump today.
In reaction to this protest, however, I can’t manage anything right now but hang my head and sigh.
I’ve been to protests larger than this in little cities with populations of just 20,000 people.
Where are all the people who claim to be outraged at Donald Trump? In our nation’s capital, is this the only opposition that we’re going to see?
There have been a whole lot of people writing a whole lot of opinions about why Donald Trump won the presidential election of 2016.
Forget all the stuff about policy details, and framing the debate. Going to this protest today reminds me of the one basic reason that the election was lost to Trump: Trump’s supporters showed up in strong numbers, and Trump’s opponents did not.
Today, that problem was repeated. Still, after all the outrageous, dangerous nonsense that Donald Trump has put our nation through since Election Day, these 20 people are the only ones in Washington DC who care enough to show up in protest against it. Still, Americans who say they’re against Donald Trump are not showing up.
Where are they? They’re inside, nice and toasty, clicking “like” on Facebook after reading a very clever article from The New Yorker about a new interpretation of political events.
After clicking “like”, they’re putting their little phones away, and smiling, convincing themselves that they’ve just done a bit of effective activism against Donald Trump.
This is not how to resist Donald Trump. This is how to get steamrolled by him.