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Barking up the wrong tree

As TGI reported in its Jan 23 edition, the march in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere on Saturday, Jan. 22, has made history, at least by the number of participants.

It is a hopeful sign of the awakening of the American masses from their hypnotic sleep of apathy caused by the corporate-controlled media. Interestingly, the same media seems to have served as an alarm clock for the masses with their relentless flogging of Donald Trump who dared to challenge Hillary Clinton, and who probably would have continued the mass hypnotization by following the old clichés of American foreign and domestic policy. Instead of analyzing the would-have-beens, let’s examine the pros and cons of this giant march.

When watching the movies and photos of the march in the first 30 minutes, I counted 56 different demands or protest themes on the signs. Predominantly women were marching, demanding changes and/or protesting against a lot of things. Some were very nice, some were vulgar, and some were protesting against the new American president who had been in office for less than a full day after having been elected democratically by the American compatriots of the marchers.

Both the style and the contents of the messages were different. They reflected grievances and issues of various groups and individuals.

A few questions immediately popped up in my mind: How can America be the greatest country on the face of Earth — as indoctrinated in the Americans for at least the past eight years — if it has 56-plus problems worth a giant march? Were all these people displaying the different messages expecting the president to look at their specific demand and memorize that or they simply wanted to show their individuality to their peers and the world, creating an I-have-been-there record?

While the 56-plus demands compared to the huge size of the crowd is really small, imagine an army of half a million soldiers going for 56 objectives instead of only one or two. Despite their numbers their chances of achieving those many objectives are very small. And the strategic mistake can only be laid on the general. And in our case on the organizers.

The organizers must have told the people to come and bring any sign, and this is how they could get so many people together. Since people like to express their individuality, they came and they kind of competed with the visual appearance of their signs.

The visual diversity, however, totally diluted the objective of the march. The path to success in any demonstration is the unity. The people were united in one thing, namely that they all had some issues, but don’t we all have some? Based on their demands and utterances the demonstrators wanted everything.

Now can you imagine any new president who could and would want to settle all the grievances and satisfy all the demands of hundreds of thousands of people dumped on him on the second day in his office? Taking it to a lower level, imagine that the workers at a company who have been working there for eight years and have been having issues throughout opt not to say anything, and when a new boss comes, they dump all the old problems and demands on him. What chances will they have?

The above TGI report referred to the Woodstock era, where the faces and appearances were quite different, but the objective of the participants was uniform — “Stop the war!” And that’s why those protests were successful.

Don’t get me wrong, peaceful mass protests and marches are very important, but from the reports and pictures it is obvious that for many groups only the act of participation was important, not the unity. The timing was way off too.

You don’t have to like the president, but for heaven’s sake, give him some time to act in his presidential capacity to show what you can expect of him. At this time, the only culprit you can lead a protest against is the other Americans who elected him. And those who base their disapproval or hatred on the president’s not-president-befitting actions from many years ago should also think of their own statements or actions from many years ago. We are not perfect and we all change.

Without taking away the credit for the mass awakening, let’s just say that the demonstrators used their right to participate in a peaceful protest, but they did not use their heads to act in unity and the organizers to create unity and a common goal.

Thus, looking it at this highly publicized event realistically it looks like a large crowd barking up the wrong tree.

Please don’t be offended; instead learn from it and organize better!

•••

János Keoni Samu is a resident of Kalaheo.

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