Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, April 29, 2016


I'm admittedly ambivalent about the efficacy of protest.  I think in certain cases it's essential and in others it's counterproductive.  The problem is that it's nearly impossible to tell which is which.

This article highlights all the problems with protest culture.  Ultimately, it's about moral imperatives rather than tactical and strategic vision and achievement.  Protesters feel good about standing up to what they perceive as a moral failing.  However, in an age of polarization, they can often force people to take the side they oppose out of partisan loyalty.  Trump's biggest selling point seems to be his assault on "political correctness" (really, just not being an asshole), and the protesters can often reinforce that message and add to his strength.

However, ten years ago, I would have been telling marriage equality advocates to chill out, because they were pushing too hard, too fast.  They made a moral case and won.

Trump could be in for an historic drubbing, but I wonder if "heightening the contradictions" will make that more or less likely.  If the protests degenerate into violence that includes the protesters, that will only empower Trump, exactly the opposite of what should be their goal.

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