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Demonstrators flood the streets of San Francisco in protest of President-Elect Donald Trump.

Are the Trump Protests Just?

January 16, 2017

Why People Should Keep Protesting

In the last few months, “not my president” and “love trumps hate” have become rallying cries for many people in this country who feel Donald Trump’s election to the presidency was a mistake. These protests have been very controversial in nature, which is not surprising considering how controversial Trump has been.

Now, I understand that we cannot protest every election in the United States that has an outcome we do not agree with. If this was any ordinary election, I would have agreed. But this election wasn’t average. Because the candidate elected president ended up being the person with less popular votes, no political experience, and a slew of inappropriate remarks, these protests are completely justified.

It would not be difficult to regurgitate the slew of inappropriate and vile remarks Trump has made, but that does not really fully explain the protests nor could I surprise you with anything he’s said. So for now, let’s just put aside the insults he’s spewed and focus on what else has motivated people to protest.

There have been, and probably will always be, protests over who is elected president, as there is always someone who will oppose that candidate. However, there is a significant difference between what people protested when Obama was elected, for example, versus what people are protesting today with Trump’s election.

In the past, presidential protests have been viewed as not having much merit. These protesters would be protesting policies that they did not agree with. The protests of Trump show a resounding difference to past protests.

Trump protesters are genuinely scared for their own safety and ability to live their lives. There are people who are worried about getting sick because they will no longer have health care since the Affordable Care Act is being repealed and Planned Parenthood is getting defunded, so access to health care will be slashed.

There are people who are terrified that they will be forced out of the U.S. to go to a country that they have barely, or never, been before, since Trump wants to get rid of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which allows some illegal immigrants to stay in the country if they came as a minor.

Surprisingly, since there has been so much media coverage of these protests, they have been considerably less violent than presidential protests in the past. After Obama’s election in 2008, there was a rise in hate crimes throughout the country. People also hung nooses with Obama figures in them.

Even if you do not agree with the current protests, there are plenty of valid reasons why someone may protest. And I get that there may be people who are protesting but didn’t vote; I totally agree that they do not have a valid reason to protest. However, I do not think the majority of protesters fall underneath that category. Nor do I think that many of the protesters really think that their protesting will stop Trump for becoming president. Nevertheless, there are tangible outcomes that could come from the protests.

This may lead more states to pass the National Popular Vote Plan (NPV). This law would not get rid of the electoral college, however it would serve as a compromise. The NPV states that if enough states were to pass the bill, so a majority of electoral college votes fell under the bill, then the electors would vote for the popular vote winner. It has been passed in 11 states, totaling 165 electoral votes, already, and many other states might jump on the wagon in order to prevent the type of protests we are seeing today.

Another potential outcome is we might actually see Congress stand up to Trump. With politics being so partisan these days, rarely do we see politicians vote across party lines or not support legislation by a leader of their same party. With so many people standing up to Trump, senators and representatives may realize that they do not have to back Trump on everything he does.

Conservatives may not necessarily think that this is a good thing, but political ideology aside, we need a government that has checks and balances, not one that has a Congress who will agree with absolutely everything a president says. Nor should we have one that disagrees with everything a president says.

Obviously there will always be people on the other side of the argument. It’s okay if you don’t agree with what I said. But to those fighting for what you believe, I say go on. It is your right to speak, so speak. Be the change you want to see in the world.

 

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Why Americans should not protest the election results

“You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election. Push to change it. But don’t break it. Don’t break what our predecessors spent over two centuries building. That’s not being faithful to what this country’s about.”

Alright, I will let you guess who said this quote. Easy, Donald Trump, right? Well actually, this is a quote from President Barack Obama from back in 2013.

Whether or not you support president-elect Donald Trump, he will be the next president of the United States. Protesting the election is not only hypocritical, but it is also disrespectful to the Constitution; even President Obama agrees.

The entire base of this country’s government was founded on having the people vote for their candidate and giving them the say on who runs their government.  And even though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, that is irrelevant because Trump had the required votes from the electoral college. Protesting the election because you disagree with the views of who won will only make us more divided as a nation. Even though this election has been labeled as unusual, that does not make protesting the election justifiable.

Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak agreed “Donald Trump is going to be our president. And saying #notmypresident is the same as saying #notmyconstitution or #notmycountry or #notmyAmerica.”

Dvorak strongly voiced her opinion against the protests, regardless of her stance on the candidates. It does not matter who you support in the election, violent protests, such as the ones in Berkeley and Portland, that disrupt the daily lives of others are unacceptable.

Earlier this year, while both Clinton and Trump were still campaigning for the election, Trump said that he felt that the media was against him and that he may not accept the election results. Instantly after that, Clinton supporters responded by calling him out for being unconstitutional for potentially not accepting the election results. Since Trump won the election, the Clinton supporters are doing exactly the opposite of what they have been preaching ever since 2013 by protesting the winner of the election. The protests in reality change nothing; all they do is make Americans more divided.

These people, they lose an election. I don’t know, maybe they want to get a participation trophy. This type of demonstrating sends a wrong signal to the worldIt’s childish, it’s immature and it’s stupid,” stated U.S. Representative Peter King (a Republican from New York).

Not only are the protesters being hypocritical by changing their stance on protesting election results, many of the protesters did not even do their part in the election process.

The top newspaper in Oregon, The Oregonian, reported that “roughly a third of the people arrested in the past week of anti-Trump demonstrations in Portland apparently didn’t vote in the election they were protesting.”

If you are unhappy with the results of the election, then do your part as an American citizen and exercise your right to vote rather than protesting after your candidate lost.

The bottom line is, the hypocrisy needs to end and in order to make things better, we need to come together as a nation and truly become united, as the United States of America, instead of being divided by political parties.

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