Welcome to #First100Days!
The #First100Days series will “bear witness” to the next 13 weeks of the Trump administration and the climate in America and then respond openly in writing, dialogue, and debate in the hopes of fostering better communication among writers and partisans alike (although the essays and pieces do not have to be political in nature). We’re looking to help give voice to honest and thematic essays from all layers of the political spectrum and across all GMP sections.
Standing in the middle of 175,000 people in Boston last Saturday during the Women’s March was the greatest experience I’ll probably ever have being part of any group, party, march, protest, or parade.
It was like floating in the ocean—peaceful, daunting, and unfathomable, and I’m still trying to make sense of it as many are.
In my years of work with the AFL-CIO and AFT I never marched in such a crowd; in my few seasons of being on a local parade committee I’ve never been surrounded by so many people; in my time protesting during the Bush years I never witnessed such a vibrant, focused gathering. And I’ve never see so many homemade signs, let alone recently knit headwear.
And now we’re wondering what’s next.
For all those dads out there who took their daughters and sons to the Women’s Marches worldwide, here’s my humble advice:
Keep marching. Keep protesting. Join one more online group (like GMP’s Post-Election Rebuilding Group). Stay Indivisible. Keep that third eye open. But take a bit of a break and breathe—that mountaintop experience needs to last until the movement knows what it’s doing.
Depending on what city you’re in, there may be more resistance to marches or sign-holding every week or month, or less local people who are interested over time. And it was a women’s march—so let the ladies lead and be supportive. There is a strong message being sent here, and many layers to it.
Write a Letter
For those of us feeling like we have to “do something,” then do something kind and of a nonpartisan nature and passion. We all know how to write letters to Congress and email and call our representatives.
Instead of just political letter writing, I’m planning on having my children write letters to Barron Trump in hopes of encouraging him as he is the new (and only) kid in the White House, and is facing worldwide scrutiny, although there is and should be a deep respect for the First Family (and especially underage children).
Kids know how to find common ground—more so than adults, and if Sasha and Malia had been my kids’ age, I would have done the same with them. I will also have my children write the new President and First Lady a letter or two, in hopes that a little good will and childhood kindness will go a long way.
Keep On Keepin’ On
Whatever you’re doing as a dad, keep up the good work. We can’t all quit our jobs and fight the Man full time (well some of us can and some of us want to—and some of us are).
Take care of your family and explain what situations are going on in the country; watch the news with your children; have that talk about what a “pussyhat” or “Pussy Power” is, and know that it’s okay to make jokes about “smashing the Patriarchy” even though you’re the dad.
Whatever you’re doing in your neighborhood, business, and home is the good that you should be doing the most of right now. There are enough good fighters out there (hopefully) who have power and influence who can’t do what you do for your community.
Be there now—your town needs you.
Get Involved Locally
Some of us dads might run for local “office”—whether it’s as a T-ball coach or a Selectman. In an amazing turn of events, one crowd of 500 women pledged to run for office the day after the March.
Whether you’re helping with a community garden or aiding the Den Master at Girl or Boy Scouts, get involved. And when you’re involved, have your kids at your side as much as possible so that they not only learn what your passion is but how to be a part of things and feel alive within a village.
The next 100 days will be exciting, challenging, and probably both amazing and unbelievable (depending on the day and news cycle), so pace yourself.
And if your top priority is to be a good dad, then just keep at it—the little ones are always paying attention even when we think they’re not.
Read Jeremy McKeen every week here on The Good Men Project!
Photo: Getty Images
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