Why Anti-Trump Protests Have to Stop

Last night in Indianapolis, dozens of people became violent in response to the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States.  This started with a rally against the bigotry and hate that were hallmarks of his campaign and whose fruit we are starting to see around the country a jubilant Trump supporters have been emboldened to harass individuals, tag buildings and cars, and in some reports attack individuals.  The the rally in Indianapolis, like many other places, quickly turned violent as some, who may always been looking for a place to vent, went on a rampage.  This is not how democracy works, this is not voicing your opinion.  If you threw a rock at police you are no better than a person who spray paints Fag on a car with a IYG license plate or pulls the hijab off a Muslim woman.  You aren't making a political statement, you are committing a crime.

Civil disobedience in important.   I have been there.  In the anti-apartheid era I sat in a meeting were we were supposed to discuss educating the college administration about the horrors of South Africa's policies when someone suggested we start a fire in the administration building.  Even as a young angry liberal I thought that was insane.  And I believe that today.  Destroying property, hurting people with violence, threats or insults, or simply disrupting society in a way that puts lives in danger is not protesting.  And it will only weaken our arguments, and this is what is happening.  Vox Populi, Vox Dei the voice of the people is the voice of God, is very true and so is Est Impetus Diaboli Opus, rage is the devil's work.

As the GOP now controls both the House and Senate and the White House, the voice of the people must be heard loud and clear to hold our representatives to task.  They can't be heard over the shots of gun fire and breaking glass.  Real people are in danger today because of the vitriol unleashed in the wake of a campaign that got into a gutter, rooted around, and found a doorway to go deeper.  But there is no reason for anyone from the center left to the far far left to follow into that realm.  Oh we should defend ourselves but we should also stand up for what is right.

On Tuesday night the Democrats lost the White House and we can speak about why.  But the left in this country were actually winners.  Restrictions on medical and recreational marijuana have been lifted, increases in minimum wage pasted, there is the most diverse class of Democratic women entering the Senate and places in local elections tax increases were passed. The Democrats gain seats in both the House and the Senate and while some people are saying blue states are turning red, there is no real evidence of that.  In fact red states are showing signs of purpling (yes I made up a word) if you look at exit polling.   Oh and  it appears nearly 2 million more people voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump.  While for us that seems like the Rice-A-Roni consolation prize, it also was noticed by the GOP who sees that their hold on power in not a mandate and really only my a thread. If we act violently we will throw them a rope, a ladder and maybe even fix dinner for them.

We must stand strong and protest hate, bigotry and violence, if it comes from elected officials, government agencies or individual citizens.  But we must not become the violent bigots we profess to not want to have in our country.

Donald Trump is the President-elect.  He is our President.  We want him to be successful for the country.  But we also want him to stand up with the values that make this country great.  We cannot do that if we don't live by them either.  We should stop hosting rallies against the results of the election (even if we cloak them in rallies to stand against bigotry) and start being active.  They only create the incubator for the hate and violence we are beginning to see now. We must not be dismissed as our positions are shared by a majority of Americans.  The election is a snapshot, as is every election.   Many people chose not to vote in this election, many people chose to protest vote in this election.  You know who didn't, people who heard reasoned arguments in true support of a candidate.  Make 2018 our target to support, promote and elect people in House districts that share our values.  Make public statements against policies and actions we find violate the values of our country and human decency.  Argue with Trump supporters not from a position that they are dumb, racist or just hate filled but listen to what they feel and why a man like that could inspire them.  Even when the story you are told seems outside reality.  Reality is often a product of point of view.

If the voice of my side becomes the shouting, screaming, rock throwing, ignorant hate filled nastiness that I am seeing on TV then you have left me.  But I stand with my view of America where we all have the right to live our lives, be who we are and think as we do.  As long as we don't hurt someone else.  My responsibility to that is the hold election officials accountable for those values.  I know throwing a rock is easier, but if you are too lazy to fight for what is right, your arm will get tired soon enough.


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