Women's March protest
Credit: Mobilis in Mobili/Flickr

Women (and men) are marching all across the United States today in a show of popular resistance to the Trump Administration. While the prior marches were an all-purpose cri de coeur against the election of an admitted sexual assailant and open racist, today’s march has an explicit focus on elections and the 2018 midterms:

This second march seemed to take on a new importance, as people in the streets in major cities registered attendees to vote and people spoke of their responsibility as a member of a constituency. While most marchers came to share their opposition to the Trump administration, they also spoke about the importance of voting in the upcoming 2018 midterm election.

Jessica Weinberg of Manhattan, who was at Saturday’s march helping to register new voters, beamed as a legion of women — many wearing the signature pink hats against the brisk wind — and men clogged the side streets feeding into Central Park…

In Washington D.C., they called the event the “March on the Polls.” The event’s Facebook page said the point was to encourage women to engage “in the political process, including running for office, and it is vital that women and their allies continue to take an active role in 2018 elections.”

It is poignant that these marches are happening on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, which just so happens to also be the day that the government has shut down due to the Republican Party’s insistence on holding children’s health insurance and DACA renewal hostage. Almost every fear that decent Americans had about this Administration on this day last year has been realized in a flurry of crises caused by a government that has placed white supremacy, plutocracy,angering liberals and undoing the accomplishments of the country’s first black president at the center of its agenda.

For his part, the president responded today by trolling the marchers:, while also allowing himself to try to take credit for the large numbers in the streets.

But no amount of trolling will halt the wave that appears to be coming from all available evidence. Democrats have been far outperforming their 2016 numbers in special elections across the country–almost unheard of given that Democratic performance is traditionally greater in presidential elections than in midterms or specials. Nor is there any reason to believe that the trend will change heading into November of this year.

Trump knows this. He has been briefed on Republicans’ electoral challenges, and has been posting increasingly panicked tweets trying to boost Republican midterm prospects.

It’s not clear that much could be done to save Republicans now absent some exogenous crisis or Democratic scandals. But Trump would be well advised to leave the trolling alone, and spend the next year attempting to be the negotiator he campaigned as. Congressional Republicans will be swept out in line with the president’s low approval ratings, and hewing closely to a shrinking, Fox News-obsessed base will only guarantee massive defeats in the fall.

Trolling the American public hasn’t worked out so well for Republicans this year. The time for actual governance is at hand.

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David Atkins

Follow David on Twitter @DavidOAtkins. David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.