As thousands of women in “pussy hats” converge on Washington to protest Trump’s presidency, a critic might ask them, “Did you vote?”
For the shameful truth is that about half of America’s voters stayed home on November 8.
Do the women who couldn’t be bothered to vote – or who left the presidential box blank – have a moral right to complain about the result?
Perhaps not. But I think the women’s march – and the other protests erupting throughout the civilized world – are encouraging. Not that Trump will heed the protests, of course He is too pigheaded for that. But the demonstrations show that democracy is not dead, that decency is not sleeping, that barbarous behavior still prompts outrage.
This was such a foul election. And the president elect is such a foul human being. But he was elected – some say illegally – because America took its democracy for granted, because millions of eligible voters did not exercise their franchise.
I hope this slap in democracy’s face will be a wakeup call for those delinquent American voters. I hope they learn from Trump’s victory. I hope they will have more respect for the blood that was shed to win them the right to vote.
So while the protesters may be marching in vain today, they may be signaling a better democracy tomorrow. As the old people say back in my Jamaican homeland, the protests could be “better late than never.”