What Democracy Looks Like

Women’s March on Chicago 2017

I decided to attend the Chicago Women’s March last weekend after listening to inaugural day speeches.

President Trump, in his inaugural address, endorsed a “new vision” of “only America first” at a time of unprecedented interconnectivity. Former President Obama later affirmed his “faith in American people” and belief in “bottom-up” change to his staff and supporters, who, he said, “proved the power of hope” throughout his campaign and terms. 

America seems less after this election than it was. This election, according to the intelligence community consensus, included the intervention of another nation, and its winner received millions of fewer votes. As a result, its President is a former reality television star, and its First Lady previously posed nude and worked illegally.

Nevertheless, enough voters in specific states believed that Donald Trump represented a better future. His promises to the “forgotten men and women” are certainly appealing, and Hillary Clinton certainly had limited appeal, both of which are problems for the Democrats, I believe, of that must be addressed before the next election.

That is, I guess, the wondrous and dangerous beauty of democratic societies. Donald Trump, at least for now, is our President, and his new role is the result of a peaceful transition of power, which is one of our more admirable political traditions.

I marched this past weekend not because I’m a liberal or a feminist or because I have specific fears about the future of our nation-state. I marched because I wanted to confront the quietism and despair that I’d been feeling since the election.

I also wanted to send a message to my fellow citizens and the rest of the world — this too is what our democracy looks like.

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