The United States is anything but united at the moment. It is divided and uncertain, even “crooked.” In the wake of the election and the recent electoral college vote, some are looking for some sort of straightening. People need some sort of certainty that the progress of the last eight years will not be undone. Inspired by the legacy of civil disobedience winning the day, women from all over the country will convene in Washington D.C. to protest President-Elect Donald Trump and stand united to protect the rights of women and marginalize groups. I understand the motivation and the desire to take action, but I will not be joining this assembly.
Someone recently called me jaded. Maybe so, but at this point I am realistic. Donald Trump called Mexicans ‘rapists.’ He talked about banning Muslims and registering them. He only gained in popularity. He openly bragged about sexual assault. He got elected. Around 53% of white women voted for him dismissing his comments as just vulgar. Not only that, they found someone who had settled out of court for fraud to be more trustworthy than Hillary Clinton, who was cleared of wrongdoing time and time again by a Republican Congress. The President-Elect’s campaign was not won in spite of bigotry, xenophobia, and misogyny. It was won because of them.
Some may argue that Trump only won because of an antiquated Electoral College system where rural states with small populations have disproportionately larger electoral votes. There is some weight to that given that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by close to 3 million votes. It doesn’t matter because the outcome is still the same. The pathological liar has access to the nuclear codes.
So, what good is me standing outside in the freezing D.C. cold going to do to help? Yes, collectively, we can say we don’t approve and we’re watching you. We’ve been saying that, and he still got elected. Will Donald Trump actually care enough to change any plan that he and the new “robber baron” Cabinet have? Of course not.
For that reason, I am going to continue to share my voice and dissent in one way. My best form of dissent is to continue to live my life as freely as possible. I am not going to bite my nails and fret over what Trump and the rest of his billionaires will try to do. I will be watching, and if a time comes where I need to take action, I will. Until then, my mantra starting January 20, 2017 will be, “Just call me Gloria Gaynor because ‘I Will Survive.” As will the rest of us.
Sameena K. Mughal, Author, Freelance Writer