Recent Protests in the United States

In class we have focused on injustice in America and ways that the law can be used as a tool to combat many of the issues we spoke on.

Since election day thousands of Americans have used their right to protest to rally against President-elect Donald Trump. The most notable of these protests would be the Women’s March that swept across the United States and even became a global event. It is estimated that a million people marched in Washington DC alone!

Personally I have always been a firm supporter of the will of the people and will always support a movement that can encompass millions and change the lives of Americans for the better. But when it comes to the protests against Donald Trump’s presidency I can’t say I support them.

My first issue with these protests is that many of the participants didn’t even participate in the democratic process. For example, 112 protestors were arrested in Portland following the results of election day. Of these 112 protestors 69 of them either did not turn in a ballot or were not registered to vote. I personally have an issue with this because if you elect to not use your right to vote in an election but then elect to protest the results of the election I would say your priorities are not in order. With how close the vote was in some key states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida over 50% of protestors votes could have made the difference. If Secretary Clinton could have flipped Florida and either Michigan, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin that would have been enough to win her the presidency. In essence if you stay home on election day, stay home for the protest as well.

I also don’t understand what the protests are about. Yes I understand that you don’t support President Trump and some of his policies but it was still a free and fair election. Just like any other election the people had their opportunity to vote and the candidate to receive at least 270 electoral votes won. You can stand against certain policies or issues but to chant things like “Trump is not my President” is simply ignorant.

I have a similar issue with the women’s march as well. After watching the events unfold on TV I heard many of the activists expressing similar ideas. There was a lot of stress on women’s rights as it appeared to me that many believed that under the new administration these rights will be infringed upon. I can understand abortion rights as Trump has stated that he is pro-life but I wouldn’t say that this is just a Trump stance. In fact, all of the final five candidates running for the Republican nomination were pro-life. Throughout the campaign season Trump advocated for a six-week paid maternity leave program as well as a bigger tax credit to attempt to make childcare more affordable. Trump has also pushed for more opportunities for women in the workforce as well as increasing pay. With all this being said I don’t believe the new administration has given reason to believe that women’s rights are being infringed upon other than maybe abortion rights. Because of this I would have to say that the march may have lacked clarity in my eyes about what exactly they were standing for.

I support protesting and think it’s one of the few ways to truly bring change to our great nation. Bernie Sanders said it best when he said “Real change never occurs from the top on down, [But] always from the bottom on up.” But I believe that in order for a protest to be successful it needs to have a clear focus and must be consistent. I would say the best current example of this would be the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.ibtimes.com/how-many-people-attended-womens-march-washington-crowd-estimates-show-stronger-2479450

http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2016/11/14/report-majority-arrested-portland-anti-trump-protests-didnt-vote/

http://www.wcnc.com/news/more-than-half-of-arrested-anti-trump-protesters-didnt-vote/351988279

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/11/16/anti-trump-demonstrators-say-nationwide-protests-are-just-a-taste-of-things-to-come/?utm_term=.a6cb10b09aa6

http://money.cnn.com/2016/12/06/news/economy/donald-trump-childcare-maternity-leave/

http://www.azquotes.com/author/12951-Bernie_Sanders

 

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4 Responses to Recent Protests in the United States

  1. edander4 says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. I think you make many valid points regarding protesters that did not participate in this past Presidential election. My only issue with your argument is the part regarding female protesters in the Women’s March. I believe that Trump’s derogatory comments towards women during the campaign fuel much of the fire for protests. His belief that he can regulate the bodies of women through anti-abortion laws does not sit well because of his previous comments. Even if Trump has created more opportunities for women in the workforce, I am a firm believer that abortion should not be regulated by the government.

    I do agree with your statement that protesting is a way to bring change to the nation. It is refreshing for me to see people take a stand and fight for what they believe in all across the country.

  2. dneu1 says:

    While I completely understand your points about the the protests needing to have a clearer, more focused aim to achieve real political change, I would say that my overall view of them is much less critical than yours. One example of this is you talk about how almost half of protesters in Portland didn’t vote and they could have made a difference. Not to belittle issues of voter turnout and the debate about civic duty, but how would protesters voting in Oregon (which as a state is practically guaranteed to go blue) have changed the results in the close mid-western races you mentioned? You could make this argument if you posted similar statistics from those states, but as it stands I haven’t seen any evidence of that…
    Additionally I think you missed one of the most important pieces, in my opinion at least, about why people we’re protesting. Yes Trump has advocated for policies no worse towards women than many other republicans, and in some cases he may even be better. But no other republican candidate was so openly misogynistic and objectifying as saying “grab them by the p*****” like Trump did. While it may not be as rational as protesting for or against specific policies, I could see how (especially if I was a woman) having a president who said that alone might be angering enough to protest.

  3. bpclass17 says:

    You make some great points about the futility of many post-Trump protests! Despite history-making crowd sizes and glowing coverage from the liberal press, urban protestors are having remarkably little impact on the nation’s law and political order. However, the political, cultural, and economic divides between coastal and heartland America have never been more clear.

    Crowd sizes symbolize these divisions. It is easy for city-dwellers to attend these now-weekly protests against President Trump’s election. It is relatively easy for suburban Democrats to attend these urban protests. Mass transit infrastructure and population density are powerful forces that enable these large gatherings of like-minded Americans.

    A federal bureaucrat from Bethesda can attend a March on Washington without much effort, but a hard-core Trump supporter from rural Wisconsin clearly found it difficult to attend the Inauguration. Because of this, anti-establishment voters and grassroots conservatives are much less visible, especially to an elite media that has concentrated itself in the most liberal American cities.

    Conservatives don’t tend to protest in the streets. But make no mistake: heartland America orchestrated its own giant protest at the ballot box on Election Day.

    As former President Obama loved to say, “Don’t boo. Vote!”

  4. brontesaurus says:

    Reading your post was very interesting to me, I was personally a huge supporter of the Women’s March, but I agree that there were some inconsistencies in what protestors thought they were actually protesting.

    Here is the mission statement of the official Women’s March:https://www.womensmarch.com/mission/

    The way that I understood the march was that it was an organized movement simply to remind President Trump that these are the people he is representing. It was a demand to be heard and taken seriously, and a reminder that he would be held accountable for his actions while in office – especially if any of those actions took away any of their rights.

    I think the point that you made about the lack of protestors who actually voted was extremely valid. I was so frustrated to see that half of the country simply chose not to vote. In that case, they really should have bothered to express their opinion in a more official way by actually casting their ballot. It’s frustrating to see that we have Donald Trump as our president when only 26% of eligible voters actually voted for him.

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