My issue is that you appear to be holding the Women’s March to a different standard than the Tea Party protests.
I could replace nearly every instance of “conservative” and “Tea Party” in your response, here, with “feminism” and/or “liberal” and have everything still be applicable.
You’re treating feminism as some completely unified thing, as though everyone agreed on just about every thing (except abortion) within it. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, as this list of feminist ideologies illustrates.
Likewise, “liberal” is also a very elastic umbrella term. Did you know you could have conservative liberals?
The “where were you X ago?” argument is, at the least, rather accusatory, and assumes that the people of the group haven’t been working to further their causes prior to large events like the Women’s March, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.
For example, we went from all but 5 states with a sales tax taxing feminine hygiene products to something like 13 states still taxing them, just in 2016, thanks to the work of some of the ladies that also attended the Women’s March.
So, just like the Tea Party didn’t coalesce until 2009, neither did the current movement coalesce on the scale we’ve been seeing until now. Until now, we’ve only had/seen much smaller groups handling their preferred issue, and improvements haven’t seen huge fanfare (for example, getting one’s tubes tied was required to be covered under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, women can now be on the front lines of combat, and the FBI’s definition of rape was changed to also allow for male victims, but most of these have gone largely unnoticed, save for a short time before the decisions were made and finalized).
It’s easy to look back, in January 2017 (and from the comfort of your living room halfway around the world), and claim that we “should have known” about Trump earlier in the year, but the fact of the matter is, most people didn’t believe that Trump would win. The fringe of each side tend to be the loudest during the campaign and so frequently ignored (and Trump really did seem fringe for most of the time; his entire campaign seemed like a “hold my beer…” bet), and most of the polls showed Hillary as the favored candidate after the other close contenders dropped out. It’s still difficult to believe that so many people would actually agree with and support someone who has been caught in such blatant and bald-faced lies and be so deeply deceived by them that not only do they dismiss them, but don’t believe them to be lies to begin with. The hope, all the way until the counts were in, and even up until the final Electoral College count, was that reason would win out, people would see the deceptions (or at least realize just how big the more obvious threats Trump had made were, and drop him, accordingly), and Hillary would win.
When that didn’t happen, the various groups set aside their differences in favor of a common goal — demonstrating that Trump is not the president we chose, we don’t approve of the things he’s already done and has promised to do, and we are not alone.