An anecdote: A friend who is a university teacher told us of a post-election class where many of their students were so distraught about the Trump election. The teacher then asked how many had voted.
No one raised their hands.
Meanwhile, thousands are storming through the streets across America. We wonder how many of them can actually name their local congressman. Or how many had voted.
Before anyone goes out to cause a ruckus in the cites of America they need to show proof they actually showed up to vote last week. Otherwise, they are pretenders to this revolution.
We had a record low voter turnout in this most-important election in 2016. Only 55%. A 20 year low according to news reports.
And everyone’s surprised about the results?
Shouldn’t that be news? That in the most important election in our recent history almost half the nation chose to say “I don’t care”?
Earlier this year there were protests across the UK when the nation voted for the Brexit resolution, catching many of the young, urbanite population offguard. They hadn’t voted either. It was a big, rural voter turnout that enabled Brexit to go forward. So, those who didn’t vote, protested. Too late.
There are times for protests. This isn’t one of them. If it makes you feel better, howl at the moon. Get it out of your system.
Then, go to work. Organize. Talk to other people. Go online and get information. Find your senator and representative. Contact them. Don’t be angry. Come up with some positive ideas. Know other people like yourself who are concerned? Form a group. Organize. Get more members. Meet at your local library. Don’t like what the Democrats/Republicans did? Start your own party. Or join the local Democratic/Republican party and see what you and your friends can do about making changes.
Go online. Do research. Find others who share your views or, possibly, talk reasonably with those who oppose you. Gain understanding.
Organize. Become the start of your own movement. Be a positive force for change. (Yes, crass politicians have co-opted that “change” thing, but it’s always possible to take it back.)
Protesting may feel good in the short term. But, it’s America’s obsession with feeling good in the short term that has essentially brought us to where we are today.
Don’t like something? Tweet about it. Text someone. Post something on Facebook/Instagram/Whatever.
But that’s not going to change anything. Real change takes a lot of work. Real change takes a lot of…organization. People-to-people work. Not staring into the smartphone stuff. And these days that’s all you see around you, people staring into their phones, attention span, well, wait, my phone just beeped!
Protesting is easy. Just check the location of the latest protest site on your phone and head over. Walk down the street. Hold a sign.Yell.
Protesting, at this point, is a sign of weakness. You may think you are empowering yourself. You may think you are validating your viewpoint or emotions. You may feel better about yourself. But, as any adult should tell you, feelings are short term.
Protesters? Essentially, you’re throwing a temper tantrum cause you lost and the other side won.
And isn’t THAT what Trump and his minions threatened to do if they lost?
( Suggestion: If you happen to be at a protest, grab a bunch of them and take them home for a political organizing coffee-clatch where you can get some real work done!)