By editorial board • 

Women take to streets to be heard over clatter and din

Hundreds of thousands of American women are planning a historic march on Washington, D.C., Saturday to protest today’s inauguration of billionaire business mogul Donald Trump. Hundreds of thousands more are organizing at least 650 simultaneous marches in cities around the country, including Portland, Salem and locally, McMinnville.

In the course of the ugliest presidential campaign in modern history, Trump repeatedly hurled crude, vulgar remarks at women daring to challenge him. But he also visited his easily provoked and virtually unrestrained wrath on perceived enemies in male ranks, including war hero John McCain and civil rights activist John Lewis.

So why are women rising to lead the opposition? Newsweek offered perhaps the simplest, most direct and factual answer in an article headlined, “The Presidential Election was a Referendum on Gender and Women Lost.”

Given Trump’s misogynistic personal and political views and well-documented private history, that seems a fair characterization. And this year’s unprecedented 24-point gender gap — women broke 53-41 for Hillary Clinton, men 54-42 for Trump — lends support.

To be sure, the gender gap was not the most gaping in this season of unparalleled venom, anger and division.

Rural Americans backed Trump by 28 points, urban Americans Clinton by 24; white evangelicals Trump by 65 points, Jewish Americans Clinton by 24. Even more strikingly, whites without a college degree backed Trump by 39 points, non-whites Clinton by even greater margins, regardless of educational attainment.

However, the gender gap cut across every community in the country, which made it stand out most prominently — particularly in a year featuring the first female contender in one of the only Western democracies yet to experience female leadership.

The ever-combative, thin-skinned and narcissistic Trump has done nothing since to salve any of the wounds of the campaign. Indeed, he seems to relish inflaming them at every opportunity.

His virtually non-stop Twitter-storm of insults has offended not just American women, but also many others, the Chinese, Germans, Muslims and Mexicans; our entire array of allies in Western Europe; and defenders of the Civil Rights movement.

Given his schoolyard bully mentality, it’s safe to assume he’s just getting started. Fortunately, though, there are signs his lack of caution, control and common decency are already starting to catch up with him.

Barack Obama entered office with an approval rating of 80 percent and is leaving with one of 61 percent, despite eight years of unrelenting Republican opposition. But Donald Trump’s currently stands at a dismal 40 percent, for which he has no one to blame but himself.

Trump took huge offense when Lewis questioned the legitimacy of his presidency, based on a massive popular vote loss and unprecedented Soviet assistance. But Trump spent years denying the legitimacy of his predecessor’s presidency, based on an unsupported allegation that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, as birth records prove.

Given all that, the wonder isn’t that women are rising in protest, but that more factions aren’t joining them.

Comments

E.J. Farrar

I think we will see that these protests are only in their infancy and will build in intensity if the new administration attempts to roll us backwards. As someone once said, they may have awakened a sleeping giant. Despots never care about approval ratings. Let's hope our new leader is smarter than that because we're no third world country that will just remain passive.

sterncommish

In all my years 20+ years of reading the News Register, this is by far my favorite of all the editorials you have written. Thank you.
Yesterday, President Trump took "an oath of allegiance to all Americans". Because so many people felt belittled or demeaned by candidate Trump, we are marching peacefully to remind our new President that we will hold him to his oath and we will not be forgotten. We are promising to provide him with our input and our opinions in the hope that our voices will inform his decisions. This is our responsibility as Americans. And if, as promised, we "will never be ignored again", we will truly be a united America.

Mudstump

Donald Trump claimed that 100's of CIA employees gave him a standing ovation during and after his speech at CIA headquarters. What he didn't know and should know is that he never told the audience to sit. CIA staffers stand when the president enters the room and will remain standing until he tells them to sit as a sign of respect. Trump was too dumb to even know the protocol. Then he claims he was so terrific that they gave him a standing ovation. This is what happens when someone is elected who has no experience and surrounds himself with people who are clueless.

Bizzyditchaz

I marched because my country rewarded an admitted assaulter and as a veteran who experienced sexual assault firsthand, I am appalled and nauseated!

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