My husband’s former college newspaper editor, Morgan Feddes, had some great thoughts on the Women’s March on D.C., and I felt they warranted a repost here on the blog. You can see her original post on Facebook here. Thank you, Morgan, for your well-articulated thoughts! – Amanda
I’ve seen a number of posts ridiculing the marches that happened yesterday. As someone who attended the march in DC – despite knowing that my views on abortion and other issues are very, very different from the majority of those in attendance – I want to make three quick(ish) statements:
1 – Peaceful marches and protests are a Constitutional right (First Amendment – peaceful assembly and free speech; some could argue petition, but that’s mostly for the courts/legislatures, as I understand it) that have been utilized by many throughout the years. Lest we forget, people assembled – many not so peaceably – in both 2008/09 and 2012/13 to protest President Obama’s elections (apparently the phrase “he was elected, get over it” didn’t apply then). The Tea Party has also used it. Yesterday was, in fact, what democracy looks like. And it was an amazing sight to witness.
2 – I think it’s safe to say that a vast majority of the people who gathered across the U.S. yesterday did in fact vote, if they were able (plenty of undocumented immigrants among the marchers, at least in DC). That’s why Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by close to 3 million votes. So the argument that these people should’ve voted if they wanted someone else as president doesn’t really hold a lot of water to me.
3. I attended the March for Women not because I endorse everything the March stood for (I endorse a lot of things it stood for, yes, but definitely differ on abortion and a few other areas), but because I am, at heart, a follower of Jesus, a journalist, and a peacemaker, and if I am to be the best Christian and journalist and peacemaker that I can be, then I need to engage with people who disagree with me. I need to understand their stories, their frustration, their hopes, and their anger. Some of that frustration and anger and hope matches my own; some of it is in conflict with my own worldview and beliefs; some of it was caused by my own worldview and beliefs. It’s not easy to parse that out, and it’s not supposed to be. But we have to do it anyway.
And that, I think, is why we all need to pay attention to what 2016 and this new era of American politics symbolizes. People on the left need to understand why so many people voted for a man who does not respect the vast majority this country and rejected what the left views as “the right way” to do things. People on the right need to understand why so many people won’t simply get over this election and why so many reject what the right views as “the right way” to do things.
And then we need to drop all of this zero-sum BS politics and actually recognize that while we won’t hold the same views or agree on the same things, we all have much more in common than we think, and that there are in fact ways for us to live together and promote the common good.
Because, to quote a Rolling Stones song that’s been stuck in my head all day, you can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find you get what you need.