The Women’s March

I watched some of the Women’s March yesterday and what I witnessed was a peaceful protest by millions of women and for the most part it was done in the proper manner. But I will admit to being concerned about some of the language used by the speakers and some of the language on signs. Many women brought their young daughters to this demonstration and it appears that some in this effort thought these young girls should be exposed to the vilest of language and thoughts. As a father that raised four daughters I would be upset if someone started using that language while they were present.

What I also saw was again the intolerance of so many in the liberal side of our political equation. They denounced anyone that supported Donald Trump and in many cases in the vilest terms. Women objected to Trump using crude language to describe women and yet they felt compelled to use the same language in their signs.

Now I do have a problem with bringing children to these events. These young kids do not have any opinions on these issues and are being used as props by their parents. I see this on both sides of the political divide and wonder why you would expose your children to this type of behavior, whether it be on the left or right. The very same women that were outraged that Trump’s comments, and they were crude, feel it is OK to expose their children to the same comments and to reinforce this crude language into the political dialogue. Why would be wrong for him to use such language in front of children and then acceptable for them to use it in their demonstration?

Now lets look at some of the issues the protesters were marching on.

First is abortion. This is always number one in the feminist movement and yet I am not sure that Trump has any strong conviction on this issue. He has made statements both for and against abortion. In many ways he has tried to have it both ways. When he was a “Democrat” years ago he was pro choice but when he ran as a Republican he suddenly had an epiphany on the issue and became pro life. I personally don’t think that Roe v Wade is going to change. A subset of this issue is the use of federal funds for abortions. This is a difficult question and one that both sides feel adamant about. Those on the pro-life side strongly believe that abortion is murder and you can disagree with them but this is their belief. They do not want their taxpayer funds used to commit what they believe are a heinous act. Current law (the Hyde Amendment) actually prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions.

So how does that become and issue. Planned Parenthood, an organization that is ostensibly dedicated to women’s health issues, is accused of taking federal funds and then providing abortions. They counter by saying they don’t use the federal funds for abortion but rather use funds from other sources for these services. But money is fungible and this does not really pass the common sense test. If you removed the federal funds would then have to use these other funds for the non-abortion services they provide? Or if there were insufficient funds from other sources would they eliminate abortion services.   To be honest I don’t get that worked up on this issue but I understand how both sides can become emotional over it.

Second were the signs claiming Trump is a racist? I have always had to scratch my head on this one because I have not seen him make any racial statements. I have seen him talk about illegal immigrants but they come in all colors and nationalities. Would it surprise you to hear that over 50,000 people from Ireland are here illegally? That may not seem like a lot but this is from a country with only 4.5 million people.   But we don’t see them as clearly because they are white and speak English, albeit with a brogue. So because Trump has made strong statements on border control he is suddenly racist. I think he is more for enforcing our immigration laws than he is racist.

Third were the same sex issues and the accusation that Trump is homophobic. I believe that the Court has settled the issue of same sex marriage and we are not going to reverse that. I also realize that many people have strong religious beliefs about this issue and you have to respect their beliefs. The transgender issue is one that really hits home with many people. Those in middle America have expressed real concern on this issue and while it may be in vogue in big cities I suspect a lot of parents share concerns over how this policy will be both enacted and enforced. So we should look at Trump’s actual statements on gay rights issues. I use the term gay rights because they keep adding letters faster than I can keep up.

When questioned by Leslie Stahl on 60 minutes Trump said “These cases have gone to the Supreme Court. They’ve been settled. And I’m — I’m fine with that,”

What I find interesting is that the Supreme Court is now willing to discuss the “Sister Wives” case. This is a case brought by a polygamous family asking the court to rule that their “marriage” is legal. I should point out that these people live in Utah but are not Mormons. I think if the Court bases its decision on the same rationale as the same sex marriage decision they may have to rule in favor of the plaintiffs. Wonder how the feminists will react to that one should it occur. After all these are consenting adults who profess to love each other and that was the argument for same sex marriage.

On the transgender and bathroom issue he has been a bit more equivocal. During the campaign he said, “North Carolina did something that was very strong and they’re paying a big price. There are a lot of problems. You leave it the way it is. There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble.” The next month, however, after the Obama administration issued guidance directing public schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms matching their gender identity, Trump said, “I believe it should be states’ rights and the state should make the decision. They’re more capable of making the decision.” I would interpret that as saying it should be decided at the state level.

Now the question I have is what if a boy decides that he is now a girl and wants to use the girl’s bathroom. How does he go about this decision and does he have to make a definitive affirmation? And what happens if two months later he now decides that I am back to being a boy and I want to go back to the boy’s bathroom? Those are questions that I have not seen answer in any clear form.

In summary, the Women’s March was an example of a peaceful demonstration and outside of some of the crude signs and language went off perfectly. If all “demonstrations” could be so well organized we would all get along better. My final comment on demonstrations is one that I have held for many years. As an American citizen you have a right to protest and demonstrate. What you don’t have a right to do is impede my ability to do what I want to do on that day. That means you do not have the right to sit in the street to block traffic, you do not have the right to accost me on the sidewalk, you do not have the right to call me names because I won’t join your demonstration and you do not have the right to destroy someone else’s property. I wonder how some of those that destroy property would feel if when they got home they found someone else had protested near their home or business and destroyed it.   They would be calling the police.

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