Be the change

To the Editor:

“March On” is the slogan for the thousands of marches planned for Jan. 20, the one-year anniversary of the historic Women’s March that took place in Washington, D.C., and around the world on the day after Trump’s inauguration.

Among some people there were doubts, a year ago, about the potential efficacy of such a march against the contemplated horrors to be visited upon our country by the Trump administration. And indeed, those horrors have turned out to be worse than any of us could have imagined.

The truth is that the Women’s March, through a loosely organized group called “Indivisible,” sparked a movement that arose spontaneously in towns and cities across the United States. The goal of that movement — to resist Trump — has becomes more critical with every passing tweet.

There is not space enough here to list all the ways in which the country and the world are being damaged, often through administration actions that escape wide news coverage. Beyond the latest outrage about “shithole countries,” there is the ongoing plan to build a wall, the failure to protect dreamers and the wide-ranging attack on the environment, including a plan to massively expand offshore oil drilling. Did you know that Mar-a-Lago and the rest of Florida will be exempt?

Federal courts are being packed with Trump’s unqualified, right-wing nominees. The State Department is being gutted and the president brags about the size of his nuclear button.

It’s all too surreal to digest, and I confess to being freaked out. Yes, as a child of the ‘60s, that term still comes to mind. Back then, we marched against the Vietnam War, and we marched for civil rights, and we thought we had the power to change the world. We were wrong. George Wallace and Richard Nixon were direct antecedents of Donald Trump. Those racist and corrupt politicians of 50 years ago had their antecedents in the Jim Crow era and the Civil War and moral choices made by the founders of a country whose economy was dependent on slave labor. This week’s celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. is important, but it is inadequate to the task of overcoming the blatant racism that has again reared its ugly head in this country.

We have failed before, but we must try again. There is no other option. This time, the protest energy is not coming primarily from college campuses, as it did in the ‘60s. It is coming from everywhere, geographically, and it cuts across race, ethnicity, gender and age. It is coming from the deeply felt need to change the direction of our government. And that can be done only at the ballot box.

So the next stage of the resistance has to be about the serious work of grassroots politics. Support good candidates and work on voter registration and against voter suppression. This is the time to take our power to the polls. Step up! Be the change! March on! Visit

Dixie Hathaway

Bar Harbor


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