In October, 2010, Ellie and I made a pilgrimage to Washington DC to attend Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's "Rally to Restore Sanity." I wrote about the event on The Buddha Diaries, (and was quoted, amazingly, in a major article in the New York Review of Books!) My point essentially was that the two comedians mistook the potential response to their satirical idea: people like Ellie and myself, many thousands of us, showed up because we really were concerned--the word is not strong enough--about Republican obstructionism and the undue influence of such organizations as Tea Party and the NRA in our political life. Washington, it seemed to us, was not merely dysfunctional, it was becoming increasingly dominated by partisan fanatics.
The Stewart-Colbert event, as we experienced it, was absurdly under-reported in the media. The hundreds of thousands who showed up at that event represented a solid, reasonable part of the American electorate, who saw past the insanity and wanted to do something to protest, and perhaps correct it.
Now comes the January, 2017 Women's March on Washington, at a time when public action is even more urgently needed than it was in 2010. Back then, those few short years ago, even those of us who were disturbed enough to turn out for that rally could scarcely have imagined the depths to which the country would have sunk by now.
This time, however, Ellie and I are unable to make the journey back to Washington DC. We offer our enthusiastic support and admiration for those who can and will. This needs to be more than simply a large demonstration; it needs to constitute a message that even the tone-deaf Tr*mp and his team of extreme rightist billionaires cannot ignore.
Instead, Ellie and I will be sure to show up for the satellite event in Los Angeles. We urge every one of our like-minded friends, both on- and offline, no matter where in the country they may be, to put everything else aside on that one day and join us, and many millions of others, in this most important effort. Please do not allow others to do this work for you. You need to do it for yourself, and for a country that has put its very future in dire peril.