A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Rally in the cold: Signs and songs

Written January 20th, 2018 by Hasso Hering

The group listened to several speakers, and they also broke into song.

On my Saturday ride through town I chanced upon this rally in front of the Linn County Courthouse, one of many across the country inspired more or less by opposition to the Trump administration’s policies and displeasure with the president himself.

I took a few photos, but I didn’t stick around. It was cold and windy, and I wanted to keep moving. So after picking up a handout of song lyrics — one number was attributed to the “Resistance Revival Chorus” —  I took off.

At the time the speaker’s theme, I gathered, was the controversy over the people who were children when their parents brought them to this country illegally. “We’re all immigrants,” read one of the picket signs in the crowd, factually faulty since most of the 320 million or so inhabitants of America were born in this country, and many of the actual immigrants did their immigrating by following the law.

Still, it does seem puzzling that a reasonable solution for the “DACA” cohort (“Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals”) has proved so hard to achieve. It would clearly be unreasonable to force all those people, who don’t have a country other than this one, to go somewhere else. The solution is for Congress to pass — rather than have the president decree, as was done by Obama — some kind of DACA program and provide a way for the people affected to work toward citizenship by taking certain steps.

There were plenty of other picket signs. Some fairly invited a comeback. For instance:

“Make America care about facts again.” Again? Did we ever care about facts? Seems to me that often propaganda and emotion steered events as far back as you care to look.

“Nothing great about hate.” Who said there was?

“Together we rise.” Maybe, unless we all screw up and together we fall.

My favorite: “I think, therefore I am.” Hard to improve on this dictum, which is just as clever today as when René Descartes wrote “cogito ergo sum” in 1637.

There were a couple of signs I hesitate to quote. What they showed is that some of his critics are no more dedicated to etiquette in language than the president they mock. (hh)

Veteran Albany activists June and Ed Hemmingson joined the rally.

Safe to say that “unpaid” applied to everybody who showed up.






10 responses to “Rally in the cold: Signs and songs”

  1. centrist says:

    Spoken like an editor.
    Compliment by the way.

    • hj.anony1 says:

      Kidding right? Surely a little constructive criticism will be well received!

      HH writes ‘ “”Nothing great about hate.” Who said there was?” ‘ Well…

      45 said so. Have we all forgotten his comments immediately after Charlottesville this past summer? Or his most recent “S-hole” outburst? How about his MAGA acronym?
      That’s a thinly veiled, racist dog whistle.

      Meanwhile the “grand OLD party” is complicit in all this hatred. So YES. Openly said by 45 and silently allowed.

      • Moderate1 says:

        Given that he believes that Art Robinson is qualified to serve in Congress, what do you expect?

  2. HowlingCicada says:

    “””The solution is for Congress to pass … some kind of DACA program and provide a way for the people affected to work toward citizenship by taking certain steps.”””

    It seems to me — based on fallible, impressionistic memories of talk radio from both sides — that the key word is “citizenship.” Highly scientific algorithms (meant both literally and sarcastically) show that eventual citizenship is good for One Side and bad for The Other Side. In our current state of polarization, that may be the most important thing to most members of Congress.

    At this stupid national impasse, I’m not really sure what the problems are, but I have some ideas for a solution:

    1 – Get rid of party primaries, the aggravator of so much partisanship. If the dominant party is dead-set against doing this, they fear losing not only their dominance, but also their ideological purity. Applies to Republicans in Alabama as much as Democrats in Oregon.

    2 – Change from plurality (first past the post) voting to majority voting (good example is ranked-choice voting). We’re taking a tiny step with upcoming ranked-choice Benton County Commission and Sheriff elections. Would majority voting in the Republican primaries have given us Trump? Hard to say, but it should prevent an outlandish candidate having an outsized advantage.

    3 – Change Presidential elections, not to the obvious national popular vote, but to a compromise: keep each state’s electoral votes, but assign them proportionally to the popular vote in that state. Oregon 2016 example: Clinton: 3.50502964 votes — Trump: 2.73658246 votes — 2 others plus write-ins: 0.75838790 votes (notice that Clinton gets only a slight majority of Oregon’s 7 votes).

    This compromise maintains the Constitutional balance between large and small states, while making all states relevant to the campaign, and eliminating farces like Florida 2000. One problem with national popular vote is that voting conditions are very different in each state.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      I forgot:

      4 – A Constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United decision, and re-enactment of sane limits and disclosure on corporate and union campaign spending. This isn’t a partisan issue. Clinton spent more than Trump. Last time it may have been the Koch brothers trying to buy elections. Next election, it may be Bitcoin-billionaire socialists.

  3. Tony White says:

    Giving good odds most of them were from Benton County, Corvallis in particular. I note the ‘huge’ crowd also.

  4. tom cordier says:

    Seems like quite a conglomeration of outliers. Host a sign promoting healthcare (taxes) next to support planned parenthood (kill the unborn). thinking folks don’t attend these events.

  5. Katherine Domingo says:

    Well this piece got us all thinking and talking. Isn’t that the American way?
    ALL voices need to be heard whether we agree with them or not.
    Let’s respect one another. These people are passionate about their issues and I respect that.

  6. Lundy says:

    Hasso, worth noting that not all of the DACA-affected kids were brought here illegally: http://democratherald.com/news/local/this-is-my-country/article_261450b8-f82f-11de-b45e-001cc4c03286.html


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