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George Jung
02-07-2017, 04:56 PM
Pretty good read in The Atlantic.


https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/how-to-beat-trump/515736/?utm_source=atlfb

Midlife brings strange changes to us all. After a lifetime of viewing demonstrations from the other side of the barricades, I was one of the many who admired the orderly commitment and resolution of the women’s march on Washington the day after President Trump’s inauguration. Yet my admiration is mixed with worry. As I step through the police lines, I bring a message with me: Your demonstrations are engineered to fail. They didn’t stop the Iraq war. They won’t stop Donald Trump.
With the rarest exceptions—and perhaps the January 21 demonstration will prove to be one—left-liberal demonstrations are exercises in catharsis, the release of emotions. Their operating principle is self-expression, not persuasion. They lack the means, and often the desire, to police their radical fringes, with the result that it’s the most obnoxious and even violent behavior that produces the most widely shared and memorable images of the event. They seldom are aimed at any achievable goal; they rarely leave behind any enduring program of action or any organization to execute that program. Again and again, their most lasting effect has been to polarize opinion against them—and to empower the targets of their outrage. And this time, that target is a president hungering for any excuse to repress his opponents. Look at how Trump positioned the University of California—whose out-numbered police battled to defend the speech rights of one of the most provocative and obnoxious of Trump’s minions—as a target for retaliation.

Norman Bernstein
02-07-2017, 05:26 PM
I can't agree that the demonstrations are ineffective or useless. Admittedly, they don't result in anything concrete... but they DO raise awareness... and the dividends may come in the next mid-term elections.

David G
02-07-2017, 08:01 PM
As a veteran of numerous demonstrations and marches - which, in the aggregate, DID have an effect - I can only say that this fellow is both a bit unclear oh the concept, and a bit arrogant to jump in and 'mansplain' it to those with more experience, background, and historical grasp.

Osborne Russell
02-08-2017, 03:12 PM
They didn’t stop the Iraq war. They won’t stop Donald Trump.

They aren't nothing, they aren't useless. But they're only the first few steps. After venting, back to work.