At the Tax March in Washington Saturday (April15), I realized why the event, like the April22 Science March is so important.
As time passes and passions fade a bit, there’s nothing like coming together in a yelling, cheering crowd of thousands to renew our determination not to falter, and not to accept the kinds of things that President Trumps says and does.
The U.S. Capital lawn was lush and green as a cloudy morning slowly gave way to sun and warmth. I especially took note of one woman’s sign near me that ironically quoted the late President Richard M. Nixon in 1973. “People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook,” it said.
Exactly. Without access to his tax returns, we don’t know what the elusive Mr. Trump is really doing. One thing we all now know, is that his actions are often at odds with his words.
Other signs told versions of the same tale.
“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” one said. Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden summed it up. Releasing tax returns-a practice of presidents since Nixon’s time, “is the lowest ethical bar for a president.” Trump, he continued “is like a teenager trying to hide a lousy report card.”
Other speakers, several of them immigrants who work low wage jobs, said they have always paid taxes, and they’d like to know that the President does too. Other speakers stressed the problems created by continuous tax breaks for the wealthy, while wage earners pay the freight.
A very authentic looking and sounding Trump impersonator made everyone laugh. Accompanied by two fake Secret Service agents, he pretended the crowd was there to cheer him, and he ordered the “boys” to “release my taxes.”
They brought a pile of white cardboard office boxes to the stage, opened them, and threw shredded paper over the crowd.
California congresswoman Maxine Waters told everyone that citizens have to “pressure, hound and harass” the president to do the right thing.
After two hours of speeches, the crowd of thousands moved off to Pennsylvania Avenue, past the Trump hotel, protected by fences and police, and beyond.
Next Saturday, marchers defending the environment and angry about Trump’s denial of global warming will do it all over again.