By the time Cher took the stage at the Power to the Polls Women’s March rally in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon — nearly five hours after the doors to the Sam Boyd Stadium had opened — the crowd was beyond ready to hear some wise words from the biggest celebrity on the lineup. And Cher, in town for her residency at the Park Theater and known for her all-caps Twitter rants against Donald Trump, did not disappoint.
“You know, I’ve been alive for 13 presidents, and I’ve never seen anyone like the president that we have — I can’t even call him the president — that has been willing to destroy our country for money and power,” began the 71-year-old superstar. “I’ve never seen it. Never believed that it could happen.”
She continued, “In 1776, the Union was formed. In 1920 we got the vote. What I’m going to tell you now is, it’s time to step up to the plate and own it. It’s time for women to own it, you know? If you don’t take it, no one’s going to give it to you.”
Cher talked a bit about her hard-won independence, beginning with a personal story about her grandmother. “She had my mother when she was 14 years old, she picked cotton, and didn’t have a say in anything,” she said. “My mother thought that you had to have a man take care of you. And even though she had more fun when she was divorced and with her girlfriends, all of those women thought that was what had to happen.”
As for herself, she shared, “I was kind of a punk girl, and little bit balls to the wall. I once — I didn’t steal the horse, I just jumped on him and rode him until the fence gave up, and then I saw a boxcar and I jumped in it. So that’s kind of who I was at the time. Then I got married and I lost a lot of my power through marriage, and it was my fault. I was young.” Cher famously married Sonny Bono when she was just 18. “It took me a long, long time to get back the power that you see that I have. And even now, it’s so crazy, even now in doing business I have to ask three times for what a man would have to ask for once. And when you ask for it you’re a bitch, and when you don’t ask for it they just run all over you.”
Finally, Cher, who was a big Hillary Clinton supporter, revisited the night of her loss. “There was a march down Fifth Avenue [in New York City] the night that Trump became whatever he became. I didn’t mean to get in it. I had taken a shower. I was really upset, because this is the second time this has happened to me. The last time I was with Al Gore in Nashville getting my makeup on, ready to go to the party, and then it just flashed ‘Bush is the president.’ And this time I was up in a room with Hillary, putting my makeup on. I thought, to hell with this — I’m not putting anything on until I find out what’s going to happen. And then he became the president.
“This is one of the worst times in our history,” she declared, “and that’s why I honestly believe that women are going to be the ones that fix it.”
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