The moment when your enemies are fighting amongst themselves about what to name their campaign isn't typically the best time to unveil your half-built dreadnought. You couldn't pick a more perfect banner for the Women's March on Washington to rally around if you proposed a tampon tax to pay for the servers for r/MensRights.
Con: It's Expensive
When we're talking about the rights and safety of over 50 percent of the population, bringing up cost may sound like a dick move, but hear me out. I'm not proposing that I save my money for tickets to Shakespeare in the Park acted out completely by dogs in elaborate costumes ("Shakespeare in the Bark," copyright 2017, Aaron Kheifets). Currently, the cheapest flight from LAX to IAD is $800, and rooms on Airbnb are going for around $400 for the weekend (though some people have jacked up their rates 600 percent for the inauguration, to around a grand per night). You've got to weigh the value of your body physically being there against how much good $1,200 could do in the hands of a worthy cause. Maybe even one that might get defunded in the near future. But calculating the value of being there is tricky, because ...
Pro: Optics Are Important
The Million Man March was important. The "I Have A Dream" speech wouldn't have gotten nearly as much play if it had been given to just a few hundred or even a few thousand people. That shit was inspiring as hell, and continues to have an impact a generation later. Sure, it didn't convert KKK Grand Wizards, but it changed America for the better.
Again, if you're reading this through your steam-powered time portal, this moment is probably a confusing one to jump into. Try the 1950s.
It's difficult to quantify, but symbols matter. Barack Obama was at the Million Man March. How much did that contribute to him becoming president? Probably almost 0 percent. But becoming president is really fucking hard, so lay off. The point is that big events can inspire important people of the future. It's tough to say how likely that is, but it certainly is less likely if people like me stay home because they're too cynical.
Pro: "Sending A Message" Does Sometimes Yield Results
It might sound wishy-washy, but "sending a message" can actually kick politicians into action if the message is sent loudly enough. That's particularly true if the message is "This will cost you reelection." Like most people, an extremely high priority for politicians is not getting fired. Most of the time, they can accomplish very little and fool their bosses (us) into keeping them on anyhow, because their bosses have other fish to fry and there's usually not much reason to think the next candidate would be any better. But there are plenty of examples of people getting together enough calls/letters/emails/bodies yelling at them to change the course of a vote. We just saw this in action when republicans abandoned their plans to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics.
Plus, "sending a message" is at the heart of The Indivisible Guide, a handy little manual to resisting Donald Trump's agenda created by a bunch of former congressional staffers. They're trying to stop regressive policies by taking some pages out of the Tea Party playbook.
The Indivisible Guide
Pro: It Is Doing Something
The main reason I'm going is that I'm not doing anything more effective that weekend. If the other option was volunteering to help victims of domestic violence (one in three women, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence) or sexual assault (one in six women, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), I might be whistling a different tune about going down to D.C. But realistically, that isn't what I would be doing with my weekend. I would be sewing tiny tunics for Lord dObermon and little Pugck.
Trashing a plan for not doing enough is fine, but only if you have a better alternative. Gloria Steinem thinks the march is a good idea, so I'm going unless a congressperson invites me over to talk gender equality instead. You do what you can, and at least this is something. If you've got better ideas, I'm all ears.
As an added bonus, if there's ever been a president who would really let a march get to him, it's D.J. Trump.
One of our most popular episodes from 2016 was when we invited Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark from "My Favorite Murder" to talk about some of the best true-crime stories out there. So successful, in fact, that we're resurrecting it (get it?) for a part two! Metal Fang, the Strangling Executioner, and the murderer living in the attic just weren't enough. So Jack O'Brien, Dan O'Brien, and the Cracked staff welcome Karen and Georgia back for another creepy hour of serial killers and urban legends that are bound to make you terrified to go outside or talk to a stranger or do anything.
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