Another White Male Baby Boomer Mocks The Women’s March

Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it’s not a problem to you *personally*

Bob posted yet again to denigrate the Saturday’s record-breaking Women’s March, the biggest protest in US history. His past posts said things like “Communists are a really confused group of people” and “grow up”, and he called the rallies “impotent rage and temper tantrums from the left” and “complaining about imaginary outcomes and hurling invective”, with a “challenge” for people to “justify all this hyperventilating”. Then he re-shared this:

“Dear Women’s March,
“As I sit here watching the news, I’m trying to wrap my mind around just what it is you’re marching for.
“… You see, there’s a difference between “fighting for rights” and shifting RESPONSIBILITY and it seems to me and the majority of the free world, that shifting responsibility is your true goal.
“… you marched around in vagina hats shouting absurdities showing the nation your lack of tact and self respect…
“… YOU DO NOT REPRESENT ME nor the many women I know…”

Perhaps that would have been a good time to link Sleep.Eat.Write's wonderful article about how we should thank the women who stand up for progress instead of insulting them. But instead I’ll show what really happened:

<Bob> This is not a troll, nor is it an attempt to start an argument. I really don’t get it, and would like an explanation. Can you explain what it was you were there for? Why you were rallying/marching?

<Me> Bob, you’ve made multiple posts ridiculing or denigrating the women’s march and inauguration protests. It goes a long way past just asking a question.
<Me> People have many different reasons to protest right now, since Trump has accumulated quite a bit of baggage. Some want to make sure they won’t be deported or imprisoned, others want to make sure they won’t be denied jobs or housing or credit, some want to make sure he won’t hand the government over to megacorporations, some want to make sure their health care won’t be taken away, some want to fight back against his bigotry, some are concerned about the steps he’s taking to eliminate freedom of the press, some are concerned about his lack of transparency or his ties to Russia, etc. There are quite a few issues to rally against.
<Me> In case you missed the video last time I posted it, you could watch the local rally in {city} to get answers directly from the people who spoke there: {link to 4-hour video of entire event with a text summary and photo gallery}

<Bob> Thanks for the reply @srsly, really. I guess some of my posts about the march have been negative, because the whole idea of creating a mob mentality to protest imaginary dragons seems at best, unproductive to me. That’s why I’m grasping, trying to understand any concrete concerns that protesters have. So far, you’re the only one who has even attempted to answer that question.
<Bob> WRT the video link you posted: I’m curious about this, but not “watch people complaining and yelling for 4hrs” curious.
<Bob> In any case, let me rephrase the concerns you’ve listed, to make sure I understand them:
<Bob> {eight numbered paragraphs demonstrating point by point that he doesn’t understand any of the issues listed previously}
<Bob> Finally, are these concerns that you actually witnessed people protesting at the march, or are they a list of things you’re concerned about?

Now we get to the long part, where I tried to actually answer his questions in detail — all the questions in his eight numbered paragraphs.

That was just a few of the things off the top of my head that I’ve personally seen people protesting about. It’s only a slice of the full set of concerns the millions of participants have.

So, expanding a bit on the first item I mentioned…

Trump proposed banning people from the country based on their religion, and building a Muslim registry. He brought this up again just a few days ago. When asked if he was rolling back his policy to an earlier more controversial version, he answered:

“I don’t think so. I actually don’t think it’s a rollback. In fact, you could say it’s an expansion. I’m looking now at territory. People were so upset when I used the word ‘Muslim’: ‘Oh, you can’t use the word ‘Muslim.’ Remember this.’ And I’m okay with that, because I’m talking territory instead of Muslim.”

So, you could perhaps see how people would be concerned about getting deported or imprisoned or otherwise targeted? Particularly given historical context of what happened when a government made similar policies against Jewish people?

It doesn’t help that he’s still insisting on that useless wall, and expecting taxpayers to fund it instead of, as promised, Mexico.

It also doesn’t help to call undocumented immigrants “illegals”, since that term is misrepresentative and, according to a 2013 congressional resolution, fuels racial profiling and violence toward immigrants.

There’s a lot more to this issue, but hopefully this is enough to show it as a valid concern?

Something which ties into many of the concerns is Trump’s insistence on eliminating what he describes as “75 percent or more” of federal regulations and getting rid of various gov’t agencies.

The new white house site already lists, as its first issue in the drop-down, a project to eliminate environmental protections in order to line the pockets of fossil fuel companies. This is concerning for multiple reasons.

Other laws likely to be eliminated federally are civil rights and anti-discrimination laws, which makes it legal again to deny someone jobs or housing or credit or even marriage based on things like race, gender, religion, sexuality, disabilities, etc.

His tax and budget plans include massive tax cuts for the rich and for corporations, without much change to the middle class. This gives rich people and big companies even more wealth, even more power, and shifts the overall tax burden more toward everyone else. It also calls for increasing the debt by $10 trillion, which I guess our kids can pay off or something, if we make it that far.

His choice of people to lead government agencies is also worrying, since he keeps picking people who either don’t know what the job entails or who have spent their career doing the opposite of the job they were just given. In some cases, the appointments are people who specifically wanted to eliminate the agency they’ll be in charge of.

Apparently he’s also planning to eliminate the NEA and NEH, which includes PBS and NPR and has been an effective method of economic stimulation through projects like the Sundance Film Festival.

… and we can only speculate about most of the 75%.

“Health care: Are you talking about obamacare, or abortions? I totally understand and relate to the obamacare concern, and am worried about that myself. WRT abortions, and PPA funding, that seems to be what the whole march was about, from the perspective of the organizers, as far as I could tell. Is that your perception too, as the largest issue?”

No, health care isn’t the primary issue and isn’t what the whole march was about. It’s just one boulder in a mountain. Maybe a few boulders.

The plans under discussion are worrisome, and the parts about making abortion illegal are only a small part of it. Linked is a summary of the plans being discussed. Sorry about the obnoxious title and the obnoxious video at the top; it’s the text below which is interesting.

Short version: Get insurance for “everybody” by making plans cost less per month, but raise the deductibles and reduce what is covered so that having insurance doesn’t really mean anything. Move financial aid from the poor to the old, penalize employers who offer better coverage, change funding from being need-driven to being a fixed and slashable budget item so that it can be cut further, partially reinstate pre-existing condition denial, and generally make people pay out-of-pocket more.

Zooming out to look at the big picture, most people get less health coverage, people who really needed it die, and some rich people get richer. More people have insurance but it means less, and maybe some expense numbers go down because people aren’t getting the care they need. More talk, less action.

Some other relevant bits:

“Bigotry: I’m really not sure what you mean …”

This one is so obvious to so many that I’m surprised I have to explain how it relates to Trump, but…

Trump built his campaign on a platform of hate, ridicule, rabble rousing, divisiveness, and bringing out the worst in people. He has consistently been racist, misogynist, xenophobic, ableist, and generally insulting. He is supported by white supremacists and even appointed some to high-ranking government positions. In the week following the election, the SPLC recorded hundreds of hate crimes against minorities and there were thousands more which weren’t officially recorded. Five of my friends were personally attacked by people wearing Trump campaign gear or chanting his name. He spent much of his career intentionally making his name synonymous with “rich asshole”, and as president he is a role model who teaches our children not to respect others.

Pretty much anyone in any minority, anyone who isn’t a straight white male Christian, has reason to believe Trump doesn’t represent their interests and may even be actively working against their interests.

Freedom of the press… It’s not strictly legal freedoms which are being threatened; it’s more insidious than that.

Trump has been making bald-faced lies on a regular basis. He says makes claims which are obviously wrong and refuses to answer questions, ignoring or making fun of any reporters who try to call him on it. He regularly insults reputable news agencies which follow proper standards of reporting, and is taking steps to exclude them from his press conferences and the white house so that the only agencies allowed are the ones he picks. He has also threatened to make it easier for him to sue people who criticize him. When the Parks Service posted pictures of his crowd size, he issued an order to have their account closed.

For another view, I’ll paste part of an article on the topic from about a month ago…

Historically, tyrants have tried to control the press using 4 techniques that, worryingly, Donald Trump is already using.
1. Berate the media and turn the public against it. Trump refers to journalists as “dishonest,” “disgusting” and “scum.” When Trump lies — claiming, for example, “massive voter fraud” in the election, and that he “won in a landslide” — and the media call him on those lies, Trump claims the media is lying. Even televised satires he labels “unfunny, one-sided, and pathetic.”
2. Limit media access. Trump hasn’t had a news conference since July. (His two predecessors had news conferences within days of being declared president.) He’s blocked the media from traveling with him, and even from knowing with whom he’s meeting. His phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which occurred shortly after the election, was first reported by the Kremlin.
3. Threaten the media. During the campaign, Trump threatened to sue the New York Times for libel in response to an article about two women who accused him of touching them inappropriately years ago, and then another that revealed part of his 1995 tax returns. He says he plans to “open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money.”
4. Bypass the media and communicate with the public directly. Trump tweets incessantly, issues videos, and holds large rallies — all of which further enable him to lie directly to the public with impunity.

Lack of transparency… Already touched on this a bit, but there is more.

He still hasn’t released his tax returns to clarify whether he has financial obligations to foreign interests. Since he already admitted to paying no tax for nearly two decades, we can only assume that whatever is in his returns is worse.

He also failed to publish any plans at all for a variety of important topics during his campaign, and for some things still hasn’t published a plan, merely dodging the questions instead. It’s unclear whether he actually has no plans or whether he doesn’t want people to know what the plans are, but either one is worrying.

Given his tendency to just say stuff, often made up on the spot, it’s also unclear when he means what he says versus when he’s just making word salad.

Ties to Russia… There are an awful lot of things to be concerned about here, a massive pile of things which are incredibly suspicious, some of which have been classified as legitimate by federal intelligence agencies.

In broad categories there’s the server hacking, the election interference, the possible blackmail material, the alt-right and Russian disinformation campaigns curiously in Trump’s favor, Rex Tillerson’s ties to Russia, Trump’s own business ties to Russia, his refusal to release financial history information, his repeated dismissal of the intelligence agencies, etc.

Any one of those things would be pretty concerning on its own, but all together it’s kind of a gigantic elephant in the room that he seems to pretend isn’t there.

… and again, these are just a few of the concerns I’ve heard people bring up recently. It’s far from the complete list.

For example, one relatively minor thing most people haven’t heard about was when the FEC asked Trump to resolve 247 pages of illegal campaign contributions:

He has had multiple scandals per week for at least a year, dozens or hundreds before that, and thousands of lawsuits. Most of the scandals seem to have been forgotten, often without ever being resolved. Like, whatever happened to the multiple cases of sexual assault which conveniently got delayed until after the election?

It would be very difficult to find anyone with more dirt on their record.