That was a powerful rally

I kept the livestream of the March For Our Lives in the background as I worked on my computer today and I must say that I extremely impressed by what I saw and heard. The speakers kept their speeches short but strong and passionate under the slogans of ‘Never Again’ and ‘Enough is Enough’. There were some popular singers mixed with the speakers but since I am an old fogey who is completely out of touch with pop culture, I could not identify them. But the fact that the crowd seemed to know the words to their songs and sang along with them suggested to me that they were big names in the music world.

I liked the fact that many of the speakers were so close to gun shootings, either having been present during one or had loved ones who had suffered or came from schools and localities that had been affected. This gave their words a resonance and poignancy. They were not discussing some academic issue.

I liked the fact that they opened it up to young people all over the country who had been affected by the gun violence even if it took place outside schools.

I liked the diversity of the speakers that was reflected in the crowd. The one aspect of diversity that was lacking was also a good one – there were no old people among the speakers on the stage. It was entirely students showing that the torch on this issue has been passed from my ineffective generation to a future one that I hope and expect will bring about major changes not just on this issue but for social justice in general.

But what I liked most was the fact that they emphasized over and over again that they were going to punish gutless, NRA-bought politicians at future elections. They repeatedly urged the 31 million people in Americans between the ages of 19-35 to register and vote. They were relentless about pushing the ‘register and vote’ message. The youngest speaker, 11-year old Naomi Walder, reminded everyone that it would not be long before she and her friends would be in voting booths.

“People have said that I am too young to have these thoughts on my own. People have said that I’m a tool of some nameless adult. It’s not true. My friends and I might still be 11 and we might still be in elementary school, but we know, we know that there is an equal for everyone and we know right from wrong.

“We also know that we stand in the shadow of the capitol. And we know we have seven short years until we too have the right to vote.

As the kids say these days, “You go, girl!”

The NRA and its lackeys will undoubtedly be alarmed by what they saw today and will do their very best to discredit everyone who took part. Watch for a major freakout on Fox News and their ilk. But it is going to be hard to accuse so many people of being ‘crisis actors’ funded by George Soros and the promised counter-demonstrations either did not materialize or were so dwarfed in numbers that they did not register in the media.


  1. John Morales says

    “And we know we have seven short years until we too have the right to vote.”

    Seven short years, eh? And this is said by an 11-year-old as their thoughts.

    (Pull the other one)

  2. mikey says

    The turnout in Detroit was enormous. From inside the crowd, I can’t begin to guess how many, but certainly thousands. And peaceful. And no sign of counter protests.

  3. anat says

    John Morales, when I was 11 I moved from a smaller town to the city, and about a third of my classmates spoke like that. It was somewhat intimidating.

    The Seattle march was wonderful, BTW.

  4. nobonobo says

    #1 John Morales

    (Pull the other one)

    There may have been coaching. Scripting? (her parents said no cheating, write it yourself)

    Most of the speakers were sincere, or great crisis actors.

  5. says

    The 11 year old spoke exactly like I’d expect a well educated 11 year old to speak. Well done and may you go far.

  6. John Morales says

    chigau, you want to know the basis for my failure of credulity? I intimated one already, which for me suffices. The proficiency at rhetorical techniques is another.

    You want to believe that child was expressing her own thoughts in her own words, go ahead. I’m sure it’s uplifting and stuff, and it’s in a good cause.

  7. John Morales says

    Sunday Afternoon, so does the word credulity.

    (I am amused less by the idea that my lexicon is lowly than by the idea you’ve somehow made a reasonable retort — and I’d not have responded if you hadn’t attempted to be snarky, but merely appealed to the existence of precociousness)

    But sure. It’s not an impossible claim, merely one I find exceedingly hard to believe on the evidence at hand.

    “”I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead the evening news,” Naomi Wadler said as thousands cheered.”

    (She certainly did make the front pages and the lead; a great representative)

  8. chigau (違う) says

    John Morales
    Is your notion that the person in the video should be incapable of using that turn of phrase based on their race, gender, or age?

  9. John Morales says

    chigau, no, as I noted in the comment I posted 20 minutes before you posted your redundant question — and why race or gender might come into it eludes me, since as I noted in my original comment, it was her biological age that made the oration incongruous.

    I do find it a bit remarkable that my personal opinion is so contentious.

    It would be good to see an unscripted and extemporaneous interview with her so as to make a better determination; I imagine that’s on the cards given her sudden media profile. Right now, I don’t doubt she’s expressing her ideas, it was the mode of that expression which makes me think she perhaps had a tinsy-weensy bit of help with it.

  10. EigenSprocketUK says

    I don’t care if she had a teensy-weeny bit of help. She expressed her thoughts, was proud to read it out the best she knew how. Maybe it sounded a bit clunky to your ears, John, but I’ll bet if I read the things I wrote at that age they were also very heavily influenced by modes of speech I heard from older people. Did what I wrote sound a little pretentious and not quite how I spoke in the playground? You bet it did.

  11. John Morales says

    EigenSprocketUK, I agree that it doesn’t matter.

    Quite possibly I’m just an overly-cynical ageist curmudgeon and mistaken.

  12. chigau (違う) says

    John Morales #11
    I do find it a bit remarkable that my personal opinion is so contentious.
    uh huh
    (Pull the other one)

  13. Matt G says

    Keep being who you are, Republicans. Young people are watching and listening. They see you for the assholes you are.

  14. says

    We shouldn’t worry that someone had some help writing a speech.

    They’re going up against life-long professionals with entire rooms of speech-writers, spin doctors, and focus groups. Teleprompters, look-managers, and feedback analysis.

    If the teenagers start having writers’ rooms and Cambridge Analytica behind them, then I’ll give a fuck about authenticity. Other than that, I think that a lot of what we’re seeing here is a backlash against the kind of massaged and spindoctored politics that we’ve been subjected to since the summer of love died at Altamont.

  15. estraven says

    My son was accused of adult help when he penned a letter to the school board and superintendent about the existence of an after-school Bible club that used Biblical quotes on its posters, which were, in the end, ruled inappropriate by the district’s attorney. It wasn’t true that we directed him. He asked me to check his grammar--he was 12. He had already at age 10 stirred up trouble by militating against unfair disciplinary practices. We didn’t put him up to it. Don’t underestimate the kids.

  16. Sunday Afternoon says

    @hyphenman, #12:

    Now this is the ultimate grace under fire.

    Agreed [sometimes, I have hope].

    But don’t read the comments (it is, after all, YouTube…) [quickly followed by despair].

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