If you are all geared up to protest the President, you should reconsider. You are wasting your time, and probably risking your livelihood. Your narcissistic desire to “make your voice heard” is silly.
You are probably fuming as you read this. You are probably thinking: Not to protest? Relinquishing our constitutional right to assemble? What kind of liberal are you? What kind of American are you?
Well, calm your tits. I am not advocating the dissolution of the right to assemble and protest. I am simply advising that contemporary protesting doesn’t do shit. Your tantrum is idiotic, and your objection after a valid and legal election is going to have to wait until the next midterm or main election.
I often hear from progressives that our American history hinged on influential protests. The country was founded on a cornerstone of protest and vandalism of nonrepresentative taxation. Civil, labor, and suffrage rights had roots in early protests and strikes. However, since the Seattle WTO protests of the late 90’s, the act of protesting has decreased to almost negligible efficacy. This threshold marked a turning point in the potency of assembly. Due to the implementation of burgeoning computer technology, surveillance, sponsored infiltration, and data analysis, the new century incubated an environment that could effectively resist populist outcry.
There exist many examples of this infrastructural success. The worldwide 2003 Iraq War protests affected zero change to the actions of George W Bush and his administration on his pursuit of the infrastructure and resources of Iraq. Code Pink protests in Crawford were quickly extinguished, not by mutual resolution, but by the media circus orbiting the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Occupy protests could not even sway the so-called “socialist” president Obama to make reasonable banking reforms, let alone even indict one single banker.
Since the 1970’s, no major protest has ignited change or reform. During to the civil rights movement, people are willing to support protesters that vocalize a message that enables rights for fellow humans, to provide equality of opportunity. Mid-century moderates began to empathize with the people affected by Jim Crow laws, by legalized sex discrimination, by other regional restrictions on their freedoms. But now, since nearly all segregational and oppressing legislation have been already abolished, the act of the protest has devolved into (at best) a comedic/musical/performance event for nonpolitical enjoyment, or (at worst) an infantile tantrum whenever a disagreement occurs.
I am sure you have already read the inane chain-letter infecting social media over the last few days:
If you’re going to DC, Boston Los Angeles, SF, etc. to take part in a peaceful gathering, here are some good tips from a wise friend. Keep your cool. Do not offer personal information to unsolicited requests. Stay to the edges of the crowd. Have a meet-up-if-you-get-separated plan. Do not count on your cellphones. Write important information on your forearm in Sharpie. It will wash off eventually. Stay hydrated and never pass up an opportunity to use a toilet. And, for goodness sake, wear the right shoes and don’t carry anything you can’t lose. LISTEN to the energy and calmly leave if you have any doubts about anything.
Copy and paste to share. – please COPY AND PASTE don’t hit share. I don’t want my name going all over the internet.
That note compiles a litany of recommendations that should get you a bit scared. Ultimately, if these comments are not common sense to you by now, then you are likely a noob protester and this experience will turn off to the whole process. While many outwardly profess how empowering protesting is, the ugly truth is it constitutes an empty gesture. It is the epitome of virtue signaling. Few leave a protest feeling fulfilled. Are you really willing to get arrested or injured over the legitimate election of a person? At the end of electoral process, there was NO surprise who was going to be elected: either Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Jill Stein, or Gary Johnson. It is not as if, Kang and Kodos appeared in November and won the election. You are protesting over a well known outcome. Your only gripe is that you did not prepare for it. That is on you.
Corporate, Party, and Media Interests
The act of protesting can and will be co-opted for corporate gain. Everything you say and do will be used against you. You will be covering the cost of your attorney when you don the ziptie manacle. You might think you are fighting the power with your impending arrest, but these anti-Trump protests (like the Tea Party protests) are manufactured by corporate and party insiders to implement a political and corporate chess move. And you are not anything cool like a rook or bishop.
Marketing and media play three-card monte magic with the public. You think you are expressing your discontent with one thing or support for another, but the real motivation remains hidden. For the most part, the average protester will never know the true meaning of the initiative. My favorite anecdote of protest manipulation is Eddie Bernays’ campaign for Torches of Freedom, which utilized the suffrage movement to enslave and addict women to tobacco for a century.
You and your friends are likely to end up on academic or government lists and be infiltrated by law enforcement, federal agents, or other operatives. Even the most innocuous and benign protests are seen as a threat to the establishment, thus are quickly addressed, infiltrated, and the information is reported back to managing authorities.
The Legacy Media will spin your message out of your favor, and you lack the political and commercial power to control it. Under the Clinton administration (it’s so satisfying to not have to suffix that word with a “1”), even the most “liberal” media sources would outright lie about the actions of the WTO protesters, claiming they were violent and brandishing explosives. In recent years, in the worst case of neoliberal infection ever recorded, the former anti-war leader John Kerry lambasted Code Pink over their pacificism, just so the Obama administration can continue their indiscriminate drone warfare. Occupy protests are caricatured and edited and mocked on pro-capitalist media networks until the original message is completely obscured and obfuscated. Campus protests are just so retarded, that no clever editing is even required; Forbes just took it upon itself just to list them.
(Side note: If you are chuckling at these “Teabaggers” in this video, now you know exactly how the conservatives think of your protest.)
Protests Annoy Disinterested People.
Since the Legacy Media will (at best) ignore your protest, or (at worst) spin your protest against you, people have take drastic measures to gain coverage to express their tantrum. Cases in point, the BLM and Slut Walk protests. When you have not checked your privilege enough, the intersectionalists will badger you with non sequitur insults if you do anything but revere the actions of their protesters. Astonishingly, blocking freeways, intimidating speakers, and sauntering around in panties do not communicate a message to corral support from moderate people. To the contrary, it enrages the opposition, and they use these video clips to appeal to moderates, thus isolating these crybullies on the furthest fringes of the regressive movement.
Ultimately and most importantly, your opinion does not matter. The new administration (as well as the previous administrations) do not care if you waste your Saturday dancing about topless at a Slut Walk, or screaming about Trump’s education secretary, or bitching about Obamacare, or wear a tricorne hat yelping for the government to stay out your Social Security. This is not your childhood bedroom. This is not a liberal arts gender studies class. This is not your HR office. This is not your Baptist church. NO ONE ELSE CARES.
Left wing organizations need to stop wasting our time, money, and reputations on this idiotic Trump-protesting project. The best plan is to refocus our efforts on community organizing, nomination of antineoliberal people to power in left wing parties, and get the message to the middle class with respect to real social policy.
Votes matter. Voices don’t.
The DNC and Legacy Media surrogates were cheering the death of American Republicanism prior to the Trump election win. They were calling for a “massive reformation” of the GOP “if they want to stay relevant in the 21st century.” Not only were they dead wrong, but I’m now hoping the Dems were projecting. The party that requires real reformation are the Democrats. While the Dems keep barking on about they are winning the culture war and the 2008 and 2012 executive elections, the Republicans have shelved their Tea Party silliness, rolled up their sleeves, and got to work. They have overtaken almost all of the statehouses, most of the governors’ mansions, the House, and the Senate. With 2016, they now have the White House.
So feel free to waste your day protesting. Your narrow-mindedness and narcissism will cost you even more seats in 2018, and likely lead to a second Trump term.
——— Nicholas Pisca is founder of 0001D, and can be found atTwitter, Facebook, and Youtube. Before you get all into a huff, he probably has less in common with you and even less with your enemies. So at least you got that.