I marched to relieve my guilt and, frankly, to do something other than drink wine while reading Facebook posts on my cell phone. Besides, I’d pinched a nerve in my neck and gained eight pounds. I needed the exercise.
At the protest, I listened to energetic college students chant. I chanted along with them.
Not my President! Not my President! We shouted.
But I knew the slogan was nonsense; Trump would be inaugurated. The 120,000 lawyers in my “Lawyers of the Left” Facebook group had already extinguished my pipe dream that the Electoral College could waive a magic wand and change the election results. Despite my shouting to the contrary, I knew in my gut that Trump would be my president.
When I returned home, I bought airplane tickets to Washington D.C. for inauguration weekend. Another Facebook group, Pantsuit Nation, was organizing a “Women’s March.” I felt I should attend if only to punish myself for my previous complacency.
That’s why, in four days, I’ll be joining over 300,000 marchers at our nation’s capital. Millions will be marching, not only in most U.S. cities but in 57 countries worldwide.
The mission of the Women’s March is to stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
I’m scared. To make matters worse, Not My President! Not My President! has been rattling through my mind for weeks.
Today, it dawned on me: the slogan is correct! Trump is Not My President because he refuses to be my president.
Trump believes he is my King. Here’s how I know.
- issues edicts from on high without consulting anyone
- dictates which religions are lawful
- installs family members as successors
- publicly shames people and companies as traitors
- insists on flattering press coverage
- hands outs resources as favors
- threatens to lock opponents away
- hides his assets and ignores the law
- grants monopolies by fiat
- treats people like he owns them
- manufactures truth from lies
- encourages political unrest to consolidate power
- uses fear and threats to secure loyalty
- awards his soldiers with parties and entertainment
- builds alliances with foreign countries for personal gain
- has a gold throne
- wants to turn our country into his fortress
The list is probably incomplete. Regardless, you shouldn’t trust me. Like most Americans, including most notably Trump himself, I didn’t listen during American History class. But I’m great at using Wikipedia.
Evidently, there was a bloody, grassroots uprising along the eastern shore of North America 240 years ago. The story goes that the King of England demanded money from some poor immigrants.
After the immigrants wiped out the Native Americans with smallpox and guns, the immigrants struggled to feed their families. They were still learning how to deal with their new surroundings. But the greedy King didn’t care. The King demanded that the immigrants send stuff or money to England, with nothing in return. The poor immigrants grew tired of the King’s bum deal.
So, they organized amongst themselves and fought back. They fought the King’s armies with whatever weapons they had. They were sneaky and clever and brave. Many died. In the end, the immigrants won!
And then, they needed a plan for how they would live together.
Everyone agreed that being bossed around by a King sucked. That part was easy – Rule Number 1: No Kings Allowed.
The founders got giddy about a government by and for the people. Some wrote down lofty ideals – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – to guide the sparkly new government. They felt that honoring shared human frailties and desires was essential to our identity as a group.
The American experiment continued from there, with an unconscionable amount of suffering along the way – mostly by the over ten million Africans stolen from their homeland and enslaved in the United States, and their descendants, but also by willing immigrants, Native Americans, and poor people who just wanted a job that wouldn’t kill them. Most of us are still trying to sort that out.
But for 240 years, Americans worked hard to refine what life, liberty and pursuit of happiness meant to us. Our experimental government weathered civil and world wars, financial crises, crippling diseases, mass murders, and terrorism. And through all those horrible events we stuck to the first rule: No Kings Allowed.