Just by scanning the headlines in recent days, you would think an entire gender was on the warpath against Donald Trump. Every news agency covered the so-called “Million Women March” which descended on Washington DC the day after the Inauguration to protest Trump and all he stands for.
Media counts put the numbers at well below a million, but there’s no doubt that tens of thousands of women showed up, and many more publicly supported them on social media.
Actress America Ferrera was on hand to deliver this quote: “We march today for the moral core of this nation, against which our new President is waging a war… Our dignity, our character, our rights have all been under attack, and a platform of hate and division assumed power yesterday. But the President is not America. … We are America, and we are here to stay.”
It’s quite a statement to say you are standing for the moral core of America against the newly-elected American President, but that’s exactly what those marchers believe they are doing. And they believe that very firmly. Most were enraged to see their candidate go down to defeat to another candidate they view as a misogynist … and worse.
According to event planners and media reports, an additional 600 “sister marches” were carried out across the country, as women from coast to coast stood up to be counted and make their voices heard.
But these women clearly don’t speak for their entire gender. Many millions of women voted for Donald Trump. Some did so with enthusiasm, some willingly admitting to holding their nose in the voting booth. But Trump had to win a lot of women to get the win he did … and he did win those women, regardless of all his well-publicized flaws.
The reality is Trump will need to make some inroads with these angry women, and he will need to keep his promises to the women who supported him despite their genuine misgivings. This dynamic creates an interesting PR minefield, not just for President Trump, but also for the House and Senate members up for re-election in the midterms in 2018 as well as those looking at re-election in 2020.
A very relatively small percentage of the country was actually excited about President Trump, while many who voted for him did so because they liked his message but not the messenger, or they could not abide candidate Clinton. Regardless, the inside-out dynamics of the 2016 election will reverberate across the next four years, and it will be interesting to watch how all the candidates navigate this new political landscape.