Carroll: Aspenites join in to keep the lights on Trump |

Carroll: Aspenites join in to keep the lights on Trump

Meredith C. Carroll
Muck Off

Aside from dessert for breakfast and a puppy, my daughters would like nothing more than for me to cease nagging them to brush their teeth and clean their room. Despite the indisputable threat of cavities and the unbearable pain of stepping on Legos in the dark of night, my girls instead complain about what they insist is their real problem: harassment from me. Of course there’s a simple solution to their woes, which is if they start doing the right thing, I’ll stop badgering them about it.

My kids are not the only target of my persecution. It now seems tragically inevitable that Donald Trump will be sworn in as our 45th president Friday, even if his hand on a Bible is hardly a guarantee he’ll actually act presidential. Working on the safe assumption he’ll continue playing the part of a buffoon, I’ll stay on Trump like a haunting bout with gonorrhea, although as is the case with preventing my kids’ owies and protecting their teeth, it’s not so much because it’s my job as it is a moral obligation.

I won’t be alone in plaguing Trump, either. If there’s an upside to the moving trucks rumbling ominously down a one-way street toward the White House, it’s that the voices of the brightest, fiercest, sassiest, most diverse, committed, articulate, intelligent and clever women have emerged louder than ever.

Upon receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at last week’s Golden Globes, Meryl Streep didn’t use her camera time to feign modesty at the accolades heaped on her. Instead she expressed horror at Trump’s “instinct to humiliate.” Having Trump establish a responsible tone is critical, Streep said, because “it filters down into everybody’s life (and) kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

In addition to renowned personalities like Streep speaking up, women in the Roaring Fork Valley also are using their voices to effect positive change. Kim Master and Heather Stevenson are among the many locals who considered traveling east with their children for Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. Ultimately it was scheduling and finances that kept them from booking flights to D.C., although Master and Stevenson will still demonstrate at an Aspen event they organized.

Aspen’s Million Women Ski & March, one of the officially sanctioned sister marches of the D. C. event, kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Aspen Art Museum, where families will have the opportunity to “think about what we can accomplish in our community through teamwork,” Master said.

Inspired by political activist and artist Andrea Bowers, participants will use the phrase “Together we can (fill in the blank)” to create signs for the ski and march as a way to “share their voice through visual language.” At 1 p.m., demonstrators will head up the Silver Queen gondola and ski down, gathering again at 2 p.m. at Gondola Plaza to march through town to Hooch for music, poetry and apres.

It’s shooting-fish-in-a-barrel easy to ridicule Hollywood stars or so-called bubble-living Aspenites by declaring them out of touch with the Rust Belt, middle America or whatever other buzz-worthy group is currently taking umbrage with those sounding off against Trump. However, with racial justice, gender equality, freedom of the press, accessible health care, environmental safeguards, fair pay, gun safety, and reproductive, gay and immigration rights all potentially under siege, every American should make themselves heard — not just women or those pegged as liberal and privileged.

Instead of trading insults with Trump and his cronies and apologists, the Aspen march is going high. It’ll be the highest elevation march in the nation, a fact Master earnestly considered when shaping the tone for the event.

“Metaphorically speaking, we want the march to rise above the rampant political insults and negativity,” she said. “We want our fundamentally loving attitude … to serve as a model for our children and for our small town and for the world.”

Following the inevitable criticism by the usual suspects of Streep’s speech, actor and activist George Clooney came to her defense. Having worked against the genocide in Darfur for over a decade, he’s no stranger to causes and criticism, although he argues “it’s a good use of celebrity” for A-listers to take on something besides a red carpet.

“I can’t change policy, but I can make things louder,” Clooney told People magazine. “The reality is the bad things happen when the lights have been turned off.”

If Saturday’s events are any indication, the lights on Trump will glare relentlessly for the next four years — from high above, down below and coast-to-coast — or until he starts doing the right thing.

Follow Meredith Carroll on Twitter @MCCarroll. More at


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