Anti-Trump protests are hypocritical, pointless and counterproductive

November 26, 2016 — by Andrew Owens

Senior talks about the effectiveness of "anti-Trump" protests. 

Many protesters have been chanting slogans in opposition to the president-elect Donald Trump. Instead, they should be chanting: “Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Millennials have got to vote.”

If they had voted, Trump probably wouldn’t have won. A way of  illustrating the consequences of a higher millennial vote is to look at what the election results would have been if only millennials voted. In this scenario Clinton would have won 473 Electoral votes to 32 for Trump, according to Bloomberg News.

It’s true that although Trump’s Electoral vote total was significantly higher than Clinton’s, he lost the popular vote, and the divide is only widening as the remaining votes are tallied, according to Politico. Additionally, he didn’t win by a large margin in the states that were critical to Clinton’s defeat — all in all, Trump’s victory came down to around 800,000 votes in the 13 battleground states, those that flipped from 2012 to 2016, or those that were within 5 percentage points, according to Chuck Todd of MSNBC.

With a margin so close, it seems almost logical for outraged voters to protest. What isn’t so logical is for those who didn’t even bother to vote to protest. For example, 70 percent of the 112 people arrested at a riot in Portland on the night of Nov. 14 didn’t vote, according to the Oregonian. It’s shameful for people to be violent under the guise of legitimate political concerns and be so hypocritical as to have not voted.

Voting might be a hassle, but preparing for a riot surely can’t be any easier. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is another example of someone who chose not to vote and has no right to complain if the U.S. goes a direction they don’t like.

If voting was the problem, knocking on voters’ doors could have been another solution. Studies like one by Yale University have shown that it takes about 20 phone calls to get one voter. This may sound like a high number of calls for one person to make, but many of those calls go to answering machines or dead numbers, which are quick and inconsequential.

If the thousands of people who have been protesting on the streets of Los Angeles, Chicago and New York had spent their time voting and calling people, the chances of a Clinton victory would have increased. Also, many of these protests take place in cities that are quite close to states that Trump won. If these protesters had taken some time and the weekend before the election going to talk to voters, they could have swayed many who voted for Trump.

Polls may have shown a clear Clinton triumph, but if these protesters care as much about the results as they seem to now, they should have been working to drive up Clinton’s presumed margin of victory.

What these protests are doing, instead, is pushing people to empathize with Trump supporters, especially when these protests have become violent. In Portland, protesters threw fireworks and rocks at police. In Los Angeles, Sacramento and Miami protesters blocked highways and main streets. By being violent and disruptive, these protestors prove that it isn’t only Trump’s supporters who can be deplorable.

Republicans, on the other hand, rarely take to the streets when they lose an election. There were no marches down major streets when Obama won in 2008 and 2012.

The violence that protesters have been using won’t help them. In 1968, Richard Nixon ran a “Law and Order” campaign against the backdrop of race riots, caused by the death of Martin Luther King and dissatisfaction about the speed of progress of relieving racial injustice. Given the current opportunity, Republicans will use this public unrest as leverage in the 2018 midterm elections.

It is necessary for protesters to emotionally accept the results of Clinton's defeat.Every person who is blocked from getting home because of protesters in the streets, every person who will lose business because of people obstructing their storefront, will become, if not a “Trumpeter,” a less enthusiastic Democrat who might even stay home for the fights to come.

The best and the only way to move forward is to try again electorally in two years. Protesters should stop whining and prepare for the future elections not by alienating others through protests, but by convincing others constructively.