On the eve of Barack Obama’s last night in office, I find myself feeling desperately bereft. The moments after his first victory still linger in my head like a beacon of hope after eight dark years under the Bush administration during my impressionable adolescent years. “Yes we can!” felt like the Dead Sea parting, ready to take us all on a journey to where our country truly belonged. And then a wave of victories in spite of a Congress hellbent on being contrary over being right. Yet still, we saw gay couples afforded equal dignity under the eyes of the law in a landmark Supreme Court decision, the Affordable Care Act now provides health care coverage to 20 million people who were previously without it, the Stimulus Bill revived our economy in record time, Dodd Frank and consumer protections were strengthened, a framework of EPA regulations aimed at shutting down dirty factories was set into motion, Osama Bin Laden was eliminated, financial support for veterans was expanded, and the Iraq war officially ended. All of this in spite of fierce, sometimes thinly veiled bigoted opposition from both inside and outside the government.
Yet here we are, on the eve of the most upsetting swearing in ceremony in the history of this great nation rallying to protect basic human rights. Generations of women and minorities already fought and won these rights. It is devastating to me that we are back here, fighting for the right to choose, for the right to public education, for equal rights, for the right to things we already established the good people of this country are entitled to by the Constitution.
I’m not attending the march in Washington because of my pregnancy, but I stand with the women of this country who are fighting the fight we already won, again, and protesting against tyranny and corruption. Now, more than ever, we will have to remain vigilant and active to police the multitude of wrongs that are occurring already under this new administration. As we fight for justice and equality (again), it may behoove us to look back at the messages that worked the first time around and remember that good has prevailed before and it will again.