Ben Cardin for Senate
Unbelievably, today is the first full day of Donald Trump’s presidency. This was not the fresh, groundbreaking start of a new administration any of us had hoped for, but we will need to set our fears aside and face the next four years together. Democracy isn’t easy and it cannot defend itself. Our mission for the next four years is to do all we can to keep our nation moving forward despite the ugliness that might be on the rise or the regressive plans set in motion by Congressional Republicans.
The next four years are sure to prove the words of the great Marylander Frederick Douglass, who said: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Like you, I start this new administration with great apprehension of what is to come. I start today in our nation’s capital as a voice for the opposition, marching with hundreds of thousands – especially three generations of Cardin women: my wife Myrna, daughter Deborah and granddaughters Madeline and Julia. These are the strongest women I know. They are daily inspirations to me and help fuel my renewed vigor in the fight against repeated attempts to diminish the progress we have made in this country over the course of the last eight years.
Supporting a peaceful transition of power from one U.S. president to another does not mean we sit idle while Republicans threaten to recklessly tear apart the Affordable Care Act, marginalize Americans’ civil rights or threaten women’s health care. I will continue to speak out and fight back when anyone attempts to undercut our public schools, willingly allows more pollution to endanger our air and water or targets others with hate based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, national origin or sexual orientation. In honor of the women in my life and the women of Maryland, last week I re-introduced my resolution that would remove the deadline for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment, which if ratified by just three more states would ensure that our Constitution finally guarantees full and equal protections to women.
The energy I am feeling among the thousands marching today includes anger, frustration, fear and disappointment. But it also includes solidarity and a glimmer of hope for the future. We may have serious storm clouds headed our way, but we are making a bold statement for our new president to hear loud and clear: this is our country and we will fight for its future. The next four years may prove difficult, but together we can work to keep the arc of progress moving forward for Maryland and the United States of America.