I am ashamed to say that in all my 78 years I have never marched, either to support something or to protest something. But one of the great privileges we Americans have is that we can raise our voices in protest or in praise.
Yesterday, millions of women and men from all across our nation marched in small towns and large cities to tell President Trump and the U.S. Congress that we will not support any policies or reforms that trample on civil rights or basic decency. If, as Trump says, he wants to “return power to the people,” then he needs to take notice of the massive crowds that came out yesterday and declared that the core values of this country will not be destroyed.
We will not tolerate the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act if it hurts those who now have health insurance in spite of pre-existing conditions or if it deprives thousands of our poorest citizens from affordable care.
We will not tolerate the dismantling of any laws that protect women’s rights to make choices about their lives and their bodies.
We will not tolerate any laws or practices that discriminate against persons because of their race, religion, or gender identity.
We will not tolerate the deportation of undocumented young people, brought here as children through no fault of their own, who now attend school and/or work to contribute to our society.
We will not tolerate the deportation of any undocumented immigrants who are now living in our country peacefully.
We will support President Trump’s desire to defend our borders more carefully, but we will not tolerate any attempt to screen persons based on their religion or ethnicity.
We will expect our President to speak truthfully, and we will also expect our news media to call him out when the facts do not support his statements. We will not tolerate any denigration of our free press.
I applaud those who marched yesterday! And I stand with all who are working to uphold the core values of this great country.