Sunday, January 22, 2017

Express Yourself

Note: I have duplicated this post on both John's World and John's Music World, as it relates not only to music, in this case Madonna's Express Yourself, but of my own personal view of the many protests that occurred yesterday.  After not paying any attention to politics for the last 8 years (I simply couldn't deal with all of the crap being said about Obama, as well as the unprecedented obstruction heaped upon him by Congress), I now find myself in the state of mind that I need to speak, and starting with this post, I will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  


Madonna gave a live performance of this song yesterday, somewhere in D.C., where hundreds of thousands of people were practicing democracy and expressing themselves.  Though she's already been maligned for dropping a few f-bombs directed at our new President while speaking to the crowd, she was practicing the very fundamentals that Trump himself called for during his inauguration speech on Friday...

We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity.

New York City

Madonna and those accompanying her in Washington were not the only ones practicing democracy yesterday.  In all, an estimated 4.6 million women and their allies demonstrated in approximately 670 cities not only here in the U.S., but across the globe (Reuters, politicususa).  People from all walks of life came out en force in places like Chicago (125K), Los Angeles (750K), New York (400K), Boston (250K), Denver (200K), Seattle, Austin, Atlanta, in cities across Asia, Europe, South America and Australia. The list goes on and on.  It was by far the largest protest of any kind in history.

Los Angeles 

Throughout the day the protests were pretty much ignored by Trump and his people.  It wasn't until this morning that he even mentioned it, of course on Twitter, and of course chiding one of his named groups of adversaries...celebrities:

Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.

In his defense, though, Mr. Trump added a positive spin just a couple of hours later...

Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.


Now I could go on and on about how many of his supporters took to social media to express their dismay and oftentimes outrage over the protests, but that could take awhile.  All you have to do is look to see.  Just as the protesters did yesterday in expressing themselves, so too, do the maligners have the same right.  I just happen to disagree with their assertion that all of these millions of people are simply sore losers who are whining and pouting that they lost the election.  I like to think that I am one of them, even though I regrettably did not take part yesterday.

I accept, as do many of them have accepted, that Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States, and I want him to do well for all of our sakes, but we do have a right to be concerned.  With all that we have seen and heard, and no, not from the "evil" news media, but from the lips of Mr. Trump himself, time and time again, things do not look good.

Mr. Trump's own words have helped widen this divide that we've been slipping into for years now, and for him to stand there on Friday, in front of four former Presidents of both parties, to tell us that this country is full of "carnage" and needs to be fixed only the way he can fix it, to me took a lot of nerve.  His campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," implies that somehow we stopped being great.  I just don't believe that!  Just take a look at the following graphic:

Regardless of the source, these numbers represent truths.  I don't for the life of me see how they reflect an America that's not great.  Trump supporters like to say that now we're going to know how they felt for the last 8 years.  My question to them is, Do you have amnesia?  Look at the numbers from 2009, when President Obama first took office.  That was the culmination of a different 8 years, where two wars were fought, one under the pretext of the one of the biggest lies ever told, complete enrichment of the oligarchy (remember Halliburton?), and the worst economic times we've faced since the Great Depression.  It's funny that I never ever hear the name Bush come up in any conversation.  Make America Great Again?  Obama did that!

And now we have the promise of more division for at least the next four years as Trump and his largely unqualified collection of billionaires in his Cabinet will methodically dismantle all that Obama has done.  It has already begun with the push to repeal Obamacare.  Just like in the past, we believe that you voted against your own best interests and don't even know it.  That's what has been blatantly shocking about this whole thing. But that's just how we think and only time will tell. To all of you Trumpys out there, I sincerely hope I am wrong.  Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Trump will work to Keep America Great, but I, and the millions who marched yesterday, do have cause for concern.


Trump said on Friday that he was giving government back to the people.  Yesterday, the people spoke.  They used their voices like so many before them in the times of the Vietnam War and Civil Rights and they spoke.  Loudly.  If I could turn back time just one day, I would have been in New York City with my fellow concerned citizens.  I am proud of those who came out in solidarity and I am proud of them and this country, and for the next four years, we will be watching and expressing ourselves.

*Check out an impressive photo essay on the Women's Marches held throughout the world yesterday on NYTimes

1 comment:

  1. Awesome John! Thanks for putting all of our feelings to words.