On Inauguration Day, Let the Band Play

I have no desire to see Donald Trump sworn in as president today.  Also, I have a job.  Also, this is probably the 11th inauguration in a row I have missed watching live.  I’m not sure that counts as a boycott.  Still, I will take a small satisfaction in refusing to bear witness to the installation of the country’s least popular incoming president.  It’s a day where I’ll take what I can get. But, my friends, some of you, in your enthusiasm for political action, are throwing some mighty shade at the Tupelo High School Marching Band and the Girl Scouts of the USA for their participation today in the festivities, and you should cut it out.

These kids are not going in support of Donald Trump.  If anything, they are going in support of democracy.  Mostly they are going because it is really cool to get to go somewhere and see something that happens only once every four years in the nation’s capital.  And most importantly, they have been invited to participate in the political process.  And that’s important. I’m not saying that if a Brownie or two got close enough and decided to spit on the incoming it wouldn’t make my day, but more likely they will develop a greater awareness of how politics affect their daily lives, and that’s a good thing.  As much as I hate it, I think we all need to take a moment to appreciate the peaceful transition of power here. This should not be taken for granted.  It’s really more the exception than the rule, globally speaking, so if it helps you, think of the inauguration as a celebration of that, not of Donald Trump.

I would have let my kids go, had they been presented with the opportunity.  And I wouldn’t need to sit them down first and explain to them my feelings about the incoming administration.  I’m pretty sure they know. But I hope there are band parents and Girl Scout parents who are doing that very thing today.  And I hope they are proud that their children are entrusted to behave appropriately in the absence of  adequate public bathrooms.

There is something to be said for activism as self expression.  Perhaps standing up for what you believe in, it of itself, is enough regardless of whether or not this affects public policy.  But lets not allow blind hatred of all things orange take over our lizard brains.  We are better than that.  If your idea of political activism is not buying Thin Mints this year, I am supremely not impressed.  Do better than that.

I know what you’re saying.  Every warm body feeds The Orange One’s ego.  Well, the sun rising in the morning feeds his ego.  This is not a political rally.  I don’t know how much effort you put in to not going to your local Trump rally before the election.  But if no one had shown up for those, we might not be in this predicament.  If no one shows up for the inauguration, he will come up with some reason that makes him special, and he will still be president.

If you are using your political power to yell at 15 year old trombone players and to boycott Girl Scout cookies, you really need to pull it together.  At this point, the best case scenario is that Trump turns out to be a mediocre president who pushes through some policies that we really hate.  But we all know that is it entirely possible that he is going to do something dangerous, illegal, or bathshit crazy.  If that happens, deflating his ego will not be our primary goal.  He’s not going anywhere voluntarily.  What we will need is the help of the congressional representatives we elected.  These women and men have your ear, and you should be calling them weekly to tell them you expect them to keep the president in line. Closing your eyes and humming through the inauguration is not going to do it.

And for God’s sake.  Buy some cookies.  It will help raise women to believe no one can grab their pussies.  Even if they witnessed the inauguration of a man who thinks he can.

Fill your Freezer for Girl Power: Ten Reasons to Stock up on Girl Scout Cookies

  1. You are really going to wish you had a thin mint straight out of the freezer in July.
  2.  Girl Scout cookies go well with beer. Here is a handy beer pairing guide.
  3. Because 19 and Counting patriarch, Jim Bob Duggar, is calling for a boycott due to the inclusion of all children who self identify as female. You can read about Jim Bob’s ire here.  Contributing to Jim Bob’s ire should be an important life goal for all of us.
  4. Your money stays local. About 75% of the price of a box of cookies goes to the Girl Scout Troop and its local council. That’s right.  75% of the purchase price, not 75% of profits.  So if you buy Keebler instead, all that money just goes to those greedy little elves.  (Actually, Little Brownie Baker, one of the only two companies that makes Girl Scout Cookies, is owned by Keebler.  You might want to keep this in mind if you need a particular cookie off season, but you won’t.  You have a deep freeze, right?)
  5. The Girl Scout programs you support with your purchase include camping, horse-back riding, and field trips.  But did you know you will also provide opportunities for career exploration, particularly in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)?
  6. Because anti-choice organizations are desperate to link your Do-si-dos with Planned Parenthood. Look, they are both kick-ass feminist organizations, and they are bound to rub shoulders, but if the best you can come up with is to whine that Girl Scouts endorsed Wendy Davis as an “Incredible Lady of 2013,”  you cannot expect people to take you seriously.  For the record, on matters related to sexuality, GSUSA clearly states, “Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) does not take a position or develop materials on these issues. We feel our role is to help girls develop self-confidence and good decision-making skills that will help them make wise choices in all areas of their lives.”
  7. To help girls learn they can support themselves. Unlike the Boy Scouts, whose funding is heavily tied to the Methodist Church, Girl Scouts rely on those cookies to the tune of $700 million per year. This has allowed them to grow in the ways the Boy Scouts have not, developing religious recognition programs for all kinds of religions including Islam.  They’ve also made the phrase “to serve God” in the pledge optional.  The Boy Scouts are never going to do that.  You know why?  No cookies!
  8. To support the LGBTQ community. Other boycotts have focused on the organization’s promotion of lesbianism. I don’t recall any lesbian lessons around the campfires of my youth, but I did learn all about inclusiveness when the Girl Scouts, again unlike the Boy Scouts, refused to exclude either girls or leaders who might happen to be gay.
  9. To support girls who are developing leadership skills. The Girl Scouts have a long history of helping girls reach their potential in leadership positions, and selling cookies is a part of that.  If you don’t think sales skills are important to future leaders, just ask former Girl Scouts like Lisa Ling, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Dole, Madeline Albright, Janet Reno, or Sandra Day O’Connor.
  10. Because you will be popular at office parties. Especially if you bring the appropriate wine. Check out this wine guide.

If that doesn’t convince you, how about this: you can make fried shrimp out of samoas (pictured above).  How outrageous is that? In fact, there are all kinds of Girl Scout Cookie recipes.  Buy some cookies and try one.  Don’t forget to invite a Girl Scout to help you cook.  That would include me.  I bleed green.