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Fecteau: Let’s March Towards the Voting Booth Too

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

 

The Women’s Marches show an extraordinary deal of potential, especially since reportedly more protesters showed up in force than attendees to the presidential inauguration the day prior. As a country, we need to build on this momentum and maintain a united political front because we will face profound challenges with this administration.  

These protests are the rush of adrenaline our democracy so rightly deserves. I was inspired listening, and watching millions across our country marched in favor of all people, especially women. Nearly a million people across the country made their voices heard.

We need to show resolve in the face of intolerance, and sexism; embodied by our current President, Mr. Donald Trump. His disgraceful behavior during his political campaign fittingly deserved repudiation, but America merely let it slide. While Trump didn’t win the popular vote, enough eligible voters in swing-states felt compelled to vote for him to make him our president. 

Lately, a number of polls have indicated Mr. Trump has some of the lowest approval ratings ever for someone assuming the presidency. I should note, most polls are targeting people from the general population, not likely voters. When Trump says don’t believe the polls, he does have a point. Those surveyed are not of the likely vote poll, and their influence carries little weight.  

The American people have been asleep behind the wheel for some time; left unchecked, corporate and special interests have heavily influenced our government. Last election, 100 million people failed to vote, roughly 43% of eligible voters. If individuals can turn out in droves either as volunteers or as voters, maybe we can recapture the American ideals seemingly lost with the election of this demagogue.  

While the Women’s Marches were a success, will it matter? I hope so, rightly do, but I have been let down before in the past. The Occupy Wall Street protests didn’t bring about any meaningful change, and the Tea Party Protests seemed to be more of an astroturf effort designed to fight for corporate interests.  

I wish more people voted the last election, but there is hope. With the election of Mr. Trump, America may realize its folly. Are these marches symptomatic of a country ready to become much more politically active? Let’s all hope the answer is yes. 

Mr. Trump has appealed to the worst of America, and we elected him president of the United States. Now, I can say with exuberance, America looks like it has a case of buyer’s remorse, and might not make that egregious mistake a second time.  

Matt Fecteau ([email protected]) of Pawtucket, Rhode Island was a Democratic candidate for office in 2014 and 2016. He is a former White House national security intern and Iraq war veteran. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewFecteau

 

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