Last weekend was the one-year anniversary of the Women’s March. In 2017, I was with my father in Washington D.C. sprinkled in a crowd of almost one million people. The feeling was surreal mixed with an uncertain future. A year later, change is still the calm before the storm. Unequal representation haunts America from its inception to decline.
Would the Women’s March exist in a Hillary Clinton presidency?
Clinton’s loss became another catalyst exposing an election flaw with disastrous consequences. Winning the popular vote in presidential politics holds no weight in American democracy. The Electoral College is a system born out of slavery. Our current structure highlights a despicable history with the tradition of denying the populace’s truth.
From the Los Angeles Times, Yale University’s Akhil Reed Amar response to why we have the electoral college: “Slavery. In a direct-election system, the South would have lost every time because a huge proportion of its population — slaves — could not vote. The electoral college enabled each slave state to count its slaves (albeit at a discount, under the Constitution’s three-fifths clause) in the electoral college apportionment. The big winner early on was Virginia — a large state with lots of slaves. Indeed, eight of the first nine presidential elections were won by Virginians. Pennsylvania in 1800 had more free persons, but Virginia got more electoral votes that year. Thomas Jefferson would have lost the race against John Adams in 1800 but for the fact that the Southern states that backed Jefferson, a Southerner, got a dozen extra electoral votes because of their enslaved population. After 1800, the South refused to make any change that might weaken its inside track.”
Can the United States of America reconcile its past with Twitter reality?
The Women’s March has delivered a tidal wave of candidates for the upcoming 2018 elections. According to the Women in National Parliaments website, America ranks 99th out of 187 countries for women in government. “America First” doesn’t apply here but it should. Women are leading the charge and rising to deliver sustainable change.
Imagine a government with equal representation.
Tarana Burke (founder of the Me Too movement): “It wasn’t built to be a viral campaign or a hashtag that is here today and forgotten tomorrow. It was a catchphrase to be used from survivor to survivor to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible.” The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France as a symbol of freedom and democracy. From statues to hashtags, women must stand firm and march together. Anything is possible together.