I Want Members of Congress to Have Courage (and they need to if they want to keep their jobs)

Why did I march?

Some folks have suggested it is an emotional response. OK. I’ll admit to being shaken in November – not only by the election of Trump, but by the idea that so many of my fellow citizens would vote for him. I am angry. I am scared about what the future holds for the next four years, and well beyond.

Maybe this is desperation. But desperation is not all bad. When there are no simple logical solutions, perhaps the desperate act is logical. To do nothing while Trump appoints cabinet secretaries to departments they are hostile to is not acceptable to me. To do nothing while he dismantles the Affordable Care Act without a soft landing to millions who depend on it is not acceptable. To do nothing while the GOP pushes through tax cuts that will explode the deficit as a pay-off to the wealthy is not acceptable.

I need to do something and marching was something to do.  I’m hoping it has value. If it does not, hopefully the next thing I do will. The political process is not limited to elections. This is happening now. I’m not waiting two years to take action.

What do I hope to accomplish?

I have no hopes that a march will drive a revolt or a dismantling of the electoral college. I know Trump will not be impeached over any of the things we know today. I know he doesn’t care about me or my concerns.  And whether I get 10 million people to sing Kumbaya in perfect harmony is irrelevant to that fact.

But, I have hope for Republican leaders. They are the only ones who can slow Trump down from some of his most destructive tendencies. Fortunately, I don’t think many GOP congressmen are really on board with Trump. But they’re scared of him. He and his followers can end their careers. Trump has leverage over them, and many of them lack the political courage to stand up to him. For example, after the “pussy grab” tape came out, many of the GOP politicians piled on Trump. He then struck back. His numbers went down. Their numbers went down more. And they folded, with some notable exceptions like McCain and Sasse.

While it doesn’t say much for their character, it does give us a possible path forward. If Congressmen are too cowardly to cross Trump, we need to make it just as bad politically to side with him. A massive progressive/moderate resurgence is the only path to that end. Maybe that wasn’t just 15,000 -20,000 progressives marching for an event. Maybe it is 15,000+ foot soldiers signing up for duty. The 100+ people on these two buses are spending 60 hours away from any comforts of home, including showers or beds, to have their voices heard. And they’re all smiling today. There is a political movement coming for any congressman who cowers from Trump. We’re saying, “Fear us more than Trump.”  If they want to keep their jobs, they will need to hear us.