President Trump, in a deft exercise of tweet-trolling, cheered on the Women’s March Saturday, urging participants to turn out in big numbers to celebrate a strong economy and low unemployment rate for women.
With the presidential tongue firmly implanted in cheek, he brushed aside the decidedly anti-Trump flavor of the marches and the anti-Trump signs that ranged from the humorous to the profane.
From his twitter perch, Trump took a rosy posture toward the marches: “Beautiful weather all over our great country, a perfect day for all Women to March,” he tweeted. “Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months. Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”
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On the ground, as marchers took to the streets nationwide, the economy was not the prime topic. Trump was.
In Washington, D.C., one protest sign said simply, “Grab Him by the Mid-terms.”
As the marchers headed toward the White House, the chants were hardly cheering on the Dow: “Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Donald Trump has got to go!” and “We need a leader, not a creepy Tweeter!”
“Everybody’s gotten tired of turning on their TVs and logging on Twitter where we have to put our heads down (in shame),” said Molly Taggart, an adjunct professor of communications studies at Kent State University.
Spike Gram joins hundreds of people gathered at the Capitol in downtown Tallahassee, Fla. for the Womens March on Jan. 20, 2018.
Judy McLean, 73, of Bethesda, Md., carried a sign that read, “Norwegian Americans for DACA,” a wry reference to Trump’s recent remark he’d rather have immigrants from Norway than Africa and some Latin American countries.
Asked her reaction to the presidential tweet, Lynn Klaiman, a 52-year-old teacher from Washingtonn, pronounced herself “speechless.”
“Whatever helps him sleep at night,” she added.
In Denver, the signed carried by Betsy Kidnay, 56, declared “women are the wall,” and expressed concern about what she called the administration’s attacks on the environment.
“Hopefully we are going to stop Trump,” said Kidnay, of Wheat Ridge, Colo. “His disregard for women is what’s going to sweep Republicans out of power.”
In Chicago, portable toilets at the rally poke fun at a vulgar statement reportedly made by Trump about some countries.
In New York City, Brianna Gallina, 22, from Holtsville, N.Y., said her father, a Trump voter, asked her Saturday morning why it was so important she march. “This isn’t about women or fascism or whatever else you want to blow this into,” she said she replied. “This is about equality.”
In Zurich, Alexandra Dufresne, a lawyer from New Haven, Conn., now living in Switzerland, asked compatriots at Saturday’s march their opinion of Trump — and they apologized.
She urged Americans abroad to participate in the political process back home, starting with registering to vote.
“The Swiss have a deep love of American ideals,” she said. In the past year, as the Trump administration took such moves as pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, Dufresne said, she “often felt ashamed and embarrassed about what the U.S. is doing around the world.”
In the crowd, a poster carried by carried by Katherine Harper, an American from Indiana now living in a Zurich suburb, summed up the anti-Trump mood: “Dear World, On behalf of the U.S., I’m sorry.“