No more Marches on Washington, please

I don’t know a single effective political organizer or advocate who thinks that marching on Washington accomplishes anything other than wasting millions of dollars, creating a big donor list for ineffective groups to milk later on, and making the marchers feel like they’ve done something when they haven’t.

There’s talk about having yet another gay March on Washington. Stop it now, please.

These marches do nothing. They cost millions of dollars. There was the 1993 March on Washington. It didn’t change Bill Clinton’s or Congress’ mind on anything. The Million Man March? Zip. The Stand for Children, that I was involved in. $7m spent, I heard. Great turnout. What did it really accomplish? The Million Mom March? The women’s march a few years back that had incredible turnout. What did it do?

These marches don’t work.

I’m as frustrated as the rest of you with the administration’s waffling on so many issues we care about. But adopting a high-profile, ineffective strategy is not a solution, no matter how good it feels. Yes, we need alternatives. But that doesn’t stop us from pointing out those ideas that won’t work. And this is one of them.

NOTE from Joe: I couldn’t agree more. A march would be a colossal waste of time and money. I worked in gun control. I saw firsthand how the Million Mom March really helped destroy the issue. It sucked up enormous resources and never, ever delivered. It was a monument to egos. This fall, there will be probably be a referendum to repeal Maine’s new marriage law. That effort needs resources. The California repeal will need vast resources — and our side doesn’t have the deep pockets of the Mormon church. Also, members of Congress are non-plussed by weekend events in D.C. — even big marches. Most aren’t even here. Hit them where it matters. Organize marches in the districts of members and challenge Senators back home. It’s not as glamorous, but it works better. A march on the mall doesn’t do the trick anymore — and hasn’t since 1963.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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