At this rate, we should just forgo protest signs for protest scrolls.
Or maybe even one of those rooftop digital billboards to better present our growing number of grievances with President Trump.
Trump’s attacks on people and policies are coming so fast and furious that it’s hard to keep up, let alone fit them all on one protest sign.
So many lies and threats to decency and democracy. So little poster board space.
A whopping 70 percent of Trump’s statements that PolitiFact checked during the campaign were false, according to a recent Politico Magazine article. Just five days into his presidency, I’d bet he’s on track to break the PolitiFact machine.
Even before Thursday’s protests were over, Trump added another lie to his growing list of whoppers, saying Philadelphia’s murders were “terribly increasing.”
Homicides in the city have actually been largely decreasing.
Somebody get me a Sharpie and another poster board.
Tom Martin, one of the thousands of people who protested Trump’s visit to Philadelphia for the GOP retreat Thursday, could relate.
Martin, 65, was pleased with the message he chose for the protest sign that he held among the crowd at Thomas Paine Plaza. But it did not come easy.
On one side, it read: “WE ARE NOT THE PRESS”
On the other, “#SHOW US YOUR TAX RETURNS”
It was a nod to Trump’s insistence – despite plenty of proof otherwise – that the media are the only ones who care about his refusing to release his tax returns.
The local sculptor and painter said it was the “best canvas I’ve painted in years.”
But inside his coat was proof that betrayed the difficult decision process. On a piece of paper was a list of other options he’d considered:
“You’re in Retreat, We Are Not!”
“We Believe in the Constitution.”
“The Emperor Has No Clothes.”
Another smaller sign he held -- Plan B, if you will – had yet another message, “Truth or Consequences.”
With so many disturbing statements and decisions coming from Trump’s presidency, he said, it’s hard to choose.
As I looked out over the sea of people and signs Thursday afternoon, one thing was clear. We’re already reaching maximum grievance overload.
“No cuts to Medicaid!”
“Don’t repeal the ACA!”
“Black Lives Matter!”
“Philly Stands With Standing Rock!”
Speaking of truth, Ellen Danish said the daily attacks on truth can be overwhelming.
“But also energizing,” she said.
She and her friends Sandra Stevens and Rose Cheney said that in the coming days it’s important to speak out, say no and resist.
And if it takes daily protests or multiple signs, so be it.
Shortly afterward, I spotted Colleen Daily, who held one sign that spoke to me.
“Too Many Things to Protest,” it read.
Exactly, I told her.
How do we keep up? Which fight do we fight first? How do we keep our eye on the biggest threats when it seems like Trump is determined to drown us all in a daily pool of disrespect and distractions?
I’ve never been a big believer in “Pick your battles,” but it’s starting to feel like if we don’t, we’re going to fail on all fronts.
Daily nodded. But before I congratulated her too much, she flipped her sign over to reveal the other side:
Definitely not all the issues she cared about, she said. But the ones she was prioritizing for the protest and for the long road of resistance ahead.
Her advice: We can’t all fight every single fight. Better for each person to pick a few they’re passionate about and fight like hell.
Fight like hell!
Now that fits nicely on one poster board!