Sunday, November 13, 2016

On the Anti-Trump Protests

I don't think it is fair to describe those protesting the election of Trump as though they are just whining because they didn't get their way. No doubt they aren't happy with the results of the election, but it seems to me that what is animating them is fear. Fear that much of the social progress our nation has made will be halted or turned back.

Fear that hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose their health insurance and that some of those will die as a result. Fear that marriages will be dissolved, unrecognized, or denied to same sex couples. Fear that families will be split up by deportations instead of incrementally working them towards citizenship. Fear that ill tempered interactions with foreign powers will entangle us in another war. Fear that genuinely bigoted people will be emboldened to harass and assault minorities; and perhaps be protected by some in the government. Fear that police brutality reforms won't happen and that black people will continue to be killed and injured by police at disproportionate rates. Fear that these men who deny the very existence of climate change will do nothing about it. Fear that rape and sexual assault victims will be taken even less seriously. Fear that the lives of trans people will be made purposefully even more difficult. Fear that conversion therapy will once again become commonplace as parents subject their children to torture to make them straight and that this might even get the endorsement of the government, instead of condemnation. Fear that religious minorities will be subjected to intimidation or worse and that some people may even be denied access to American at all because of their religion. Fear that those fleeing religious extremism and war will never be allowed to find safe haven here. Fear that our country is meaner, less compassionate, and actively devalues inclusion in favor of white, heterosexual, Christian hegemony.

A Trump Presidency with a Pence Vice Presidency and Republican Congress is a cause to worry about all of that and more. And I think it is those potential losses of progress that are driving the protests, not merely the loss of Hillary to Trump.

Lastly, for the record, those protesting with violence or causing property damage ought to be arrested for it and those protesting in good faith ought to be turning them in. So long as the protests are about expressing dismay, I think they're good, but should they become about violent upheaval of our democracy, then I'd be just as done with them as I am with sovereign citizens like those stupid ranchers who took over the wildlife refuge.