What’s the next step?
This may anger some people, but I think one reason we marched was to make our public apology to the rest of the world.
We did not behave properly; we let a madman in. Half of us did not bother to vote when we desperately needed to. We did not respect the hard-fought rights established over three centuries of struggle, and we failed to repudiate this loathsome individual who now befouls the White House (Hm. I don’t think I’ve ever written a sentence like this before.)
We need a peaceful revolution.
I’m a male so I’ll use the term “we” and hope no one takes umbrage, because I think the Women’s March was at heart a gender-free event of potentially great importance. It was about everything this adopted country of mine likes to think it stands for, and everything that is threatened three days later on this bright January morning. The huge gathering was only tangentially about pussies and dicks, though there were a lot more pussy hats than there were dick hats.
The basic fact is, we—men and women and the wide range of orientations between the two—came together for a day and made our discontent known. We did so in an amazing manner, peacefully, respectfully, and without a single arrest, which is a lot better and more powerful than any right-wing political rally held recently. We outdid Trump; we were bigger and smarter than Trump, and a lot better-looking than Trump, and more truthful than Trump (ok, the last one, that’s easy. The man lies like a rug.) We didn’t inflate numbers; we didn’t have a spokesperson blatantly try to con a media corps far savvier than he will ever be. We did something monumental and unprecedented, and almost artistic. Now we need an encore, or several encores.
The two-party structure is broken. No election could better demonstrate this than the last one. The voice of the majority was stifled by an electoral system that is both out-of-date and unfair. We need to change things.
Here are some suggestions.
No more Electoral College. This does not need explanation.
A one-term presidency of seven years. As things stand, a new president gets elected and takes two years to learn the job. Then he/she spends the ensuing two years of the first term trying to get elected to a second term. That done, she/he can devote two years to real work unaffected by electoral concerns, but the last two years in office are spent trying to groom a successor from his/her party.
A one-term Congress. Recently, someone said (or I read) that the thing about politicians is, they will never, ever, find a better job than the one to which they were elected. Free office-space and staff. Free health care and travel. Junkets all over the world. Respect and a decent salary. An endless buffet at the public trough. Who’d want to abandon all those perks? Give ‘em a single eight-year term, then send ’em back to civilian life.
A national holiday on Election Day. This will free people to go and vote.
A constitutional amendment requiring every citizen of voting age to show up at the polls on Election Day. There is perhaps no more basic a duty than voting. Since not voting might be seen as a freedom of speech issue, I suggest people who don’t want to vote do exactly that, at the polls. Check the little box that says, I don’t wanna vote. Then go home. But maybe, just maybe, being at the polls might spur some apathetics to fulfill their duties as citizens and cast a vote, something they might fail to do if on Election Day they’re watching reruns of America’s Got Talent.
The March was an extraordinary moment, but revolutions are not waged in a day.