Evolution clearly teaches us that you do not want to come between a mother and her offspring. Which is exactly what Donald Trump is doing, and he will surely regret it.
Of all the shots currently being fired across Trump’s bow, the one most threatening — the one he least understands — is coming from mothers. It’s not just about the Wall of Moms, a tactic we’ll be seeing more of as he continues to test-drive his police state. It’s more about the simmering rage coming from moms, a rage that crosses all lines of race, religion, income level, geography, and party affiliation.
A working mother of my acquaintance once said “The hardest day at the office is easier than the easiest day at home.” Most mothers I know would readily agree. So would most fathers. And that was before the virus.
Being locked down with children of any age is hard enough. Having no choice but to school them yourself — while holding down your own job — is obviously harder, by an order of magnitude. Especially without a spouse. Especially when working a frontline job. Especially when you’re scared to death you’ll bring the virus home.
And those are the lucky ones, the ones with jobs. Imagine dealing with all that and not having a paycheck. Or health insurance.
I think we can safely say that mothers, across all strata of society, are taking it on the chin more than almost any other group. They’re exhausted. They’re frustrated. They’re scared. And it’s not lost on them that much of this pain could have been avoided.
So they are royally pissed off. And who can blame them?
Think what they just went through. They accepted a civic responsibility, an unstated but strongly implied covenant of the basic social contract. They would be good citizens, listen to their government, heed the experts, stay home, teach their children online, and take most of the education burden on themselves. In doing this, they would buy time for the medical system to catch up to the virus. The curve would be flattened. Things could slowly reopen.
In return for their sacrifice, the government would step up and give them a real school year this fall. They could send their kids back to a different but workable normal.
Instead, because a psychopath is running the country, not only will schools not be opening in the fall, but these same mothers will now have to fight tooth-and-nail to keep them closed. The psychopath wants them open. Of course.
So now they have to start over, from scratch. They have to keep their children home for an unknowable amount of time. And as long as Republicans are in charge, they have no reasonable hope of a better outcome. Either short-term or long.
This will surely be an electoral nightmare for both Trump and his flunkies in Congress. Because as angry as these mothers are, they’re still largely under the radar as voters. Polls are telling us plenty about women in a bunch of different categories, but as far as I can tell, nobody’s counting them as mothers. But the Wall of Moms makes it clear that they’re flexing their muscles.
As a voting bloc they will be huge this November. Single, married, Black, white, Republican, Democrat, urban, suburban, rural, college-educated, or not college-educated. They’re all moms. And they’ll all be turning out, preferably by mail, but if necessary at a high-risk precinct they’ll wait twelve hours to get into.
Because if there’s one thing most of them can agree on, it’s that Donald Trump needs to be strung up by his thumbs. Even if they voted for him last time. Even if their husbands intend to vote for him this time.
Trump has made their kids fair game. You don’t do that to a mom.