Sunday, January 21, 2018

The 2018 Women's March: A Resisting Force from Within

 © Kim Roberts

January 21, 2018. Yesterday, one year after President Trump's inauguration, millions of Americans marched to show the same resisting solidarity they had in 2017 but with a newer spirit and a better focus. Absolutely moving to see!

On January 22, 2017, I wrote a blog about the 2017 Women's March on Washington. The march was a phenomenon. That was unprecedented. I was moved. But, at the same time I felt uneasy. There was so much anger toward Pres. Trump and his character and not enough of the way his administration would lead and govern the country because it was too early for one to say. Legally, it is not a crime for him to be a badass, a blunder, or blooper. And, among the marchers, there was a sentiment of loss, remorse, and bewilderment after the election. The 2017 marchers were emotionally heated but they showed less evidence of unity, conformity, and spirit, at least in my view.

For every movement, there's a difficult starting point before adjustments and progress are made and followed. From a deeper level, I view the 2018 Women's March as a new dawn of a stronger and growing force as its focus has shifted from attacking Trump as an individual to the performance of his administration, and to include other abusive celebrities as mentioned in such new trends as "me too" and "time's up." I foresee this force to be a larger and more inclusive movement in the future. And I visualize a growing internal power that is building and uniting women and those who support their cause. Undoubtedly, the women are reinforced and empowered by a new positive energy from within. In several cities, their focus has shifted to being more involved in voting and in the political arena. The 2018 March has demonstrated itself as a united front with new focus, meaning, and spirit.

That said, I have faith that time will change everything. But inaction might not lead to any change. Any movement in the name of humane treatments and justice for all will prevail. I am not an expert in constitutional or legal fields, or other fields, but I believe in the spirit of America. I am confident that the American Revolution that gives birth to this country also intends to give American the right to stand up for their beliefs. For many of us, struggles define our characters. 
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Additional INFO: My Blog of January 22, 2017: http://www.sadecinmyheart.com/2017/01/

Copyright © Kim Roberts
EXCERPT

... Scholarly or not, I write what I see, observe, and how I feel. My favorite philosopher Soren Kierkegaard says, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” This is my view with my limited understanding of the events happening around me, which I have experienced. There are so much more that I don’t know. But, as Kahlil Gibran says, “If I knew the cause of my ignorance, I would be a sage.”

January 21, 2017, as I received photos from a relative and several girl friends, who were in the women’s marches, I reflected on my own feelings. Through the media, I saw President Trump as one without sound judgment, gentleman-like conducts, wit, and intellect—essential elements found in most reputable characters. However, with my legal background, I was concerned that it has not been legally proven that he has committed wrong doings or crimes. And I wondered if an attack on him was warranted. That said, in view of the women’s march, I have looked deep into their cause by reflecting on the historical background of situations that led to terrible disasters in the history of mankind when those who knew did not speak up or take actions. And, it became apparent to me that it is a justification of the women’s march.

I recall the American Civil Rights movement, the anti-war demonstrations in Washington DC, the hippies, and the freedom movements. But I did not live in the U.S. then so I don’t know enough to comment. Most of everything I know well and have witnessed is connected with the unpopular Vietnam War. As much as I am reluctant to speak of the war, I can’t keep hiding my feelings toward those who were able but did not stop such a war from happening. So bear with me. 

My online research of the events leading to the Vietnam War reveals that, from 1945 to 1946, in 9 letters and messages to President Truman and America, along with Truman’s Secretary of State James Byrnes, Ho Chi Minh repeatedly begged the U.S. for acceptance. Ho sent six letters and messages in 1945 and 5 in 1946. In a letter dated February 16, 1946 to President Harry Truman, Ho wrote, “…What we ask has been graciously granted to the Philippines. Like the Philippines our goal is full independence and full cooperation with the UNITED STATES. We will do our best to make this independence and cooperation profitable to the whole world.” (a quote from History as Weapons site).

The language in Ho’s letter is consistent with my knowledge and belief of the events leading to the war. I was attending high school in Vietnam when the war started. I often wondered why President Truman and those who surrounded him did not consider asking Ho Chi Minh to give up Communism in exchange for independence and financial assistance for Vietnam. As a Vietnamese, I knew Ho would agree. That would be logical but apparently that wasn’t in the mind of those in power in America at the time. The consequences of not avoiding the Vietnam War from the get-go have taught us that, when it comes to people in high power, it is too dangerous to apply the presumption of innocence in which “one is not guilty until the crime is proven in the court of law” and no action could be taken until something has happened...

... Political Science is the first degree I earned in California in 1978. Among the textbooks I read with passion, the first one was Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America.” My favorite Tocqueville’s quote is, “Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.”  The second book I most enjoyed was Erich Fromm’s “Escape From Freedom.” The original title of that book is “Fear of Freedom.” Fromm’s theoretical analysis led me to understand the transformation of a free individual into a submissive member of a totalitarian government. 

Totalitarianism is not a form of American democratic government. But, at gut level, unpredictable voters might turn democracy into a totalitarian type of democracy. Therefore, to certain extent, the totalitarian trend explains why and how, on the one hand, millions conservative American have sought to surrender to their religious beliefs, political affiliations, or strong leadership in exchange for hope and comfort. And, on the other hand, the opposing liberal force also relied on a collective power of the masses to ease anxiety. Consequently, American democracy has become more paradoxical and less logical as it is strengthened by a contradiction between two opposing forces. I am beginning to sound like Hegel but the realities of American politics led me to believe that the goal of each major party in America is not merely gaining power but overpowering the other. Thus, to maintain a balance, successful crusaders no longer advocate as individuals but operate under group identities...

END    www.facebook.com/sadecinmyheart   © K. N. Roberts

P.S. It feels good to speak up.


www.facebook.com/sadecinmyheart                      © Kim Roberts

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