Thursday, November 10, 2016

Protests In The Street, You Say?

     Riots and near-riots over the election of Donald Trump?  --Don't come to me about Barack Obama having received the most hostile reactions of any President-elect, okay?

     I happen to think dissent is a good thing, no matter which party's candidate wins and no matter where that individual's ancestors hailed from.  Presidents ought to be questioned, checked, fact-checked, their trash dug through and they should receive vociferous disagreement from people with differing notions.  It keeps 'em honest, or as honest as politicians get.

     For that matter, if you agree with the winner, hold his feet to fire to pay off on his actual campaign promises.  Tam just now remarked there was much rejoicing in the editorial offices she gets paid from.  Now the associated political-action groups are looking to the incoming class of legislators to come though on their issues -- and to the President as well, though as I have to keep pointing out, U. S. Presidents don't make laws.*  (They do, however, veto them, though I think they do so far too rarely.)

     We didn't elect a King and his Royal Advisors; we elected a big-talking business mogul to the office previously held by a haberdasher, college professors, sons of privilege, small-time lawyers, would-be Supreme Court Justices (look it up) and engineers. We're gonna make him live over the store and he'll be on call 24/7/365.  We also elected members of two of the oldest cut-from-whole-cloth deliberative bodies in the world.†  In 2017, they'll roll up their sleeves and go to work.  Do you intend to let them do so without proper supervision?
* Yes, yes, Executive Orders, blah, blah, blah.  They can do some things.  It's really not so much, and liable to get slapped down by the other two branches of the if they try to go too far.
† A mere babe in arms compared to the Isle of Man's Tynwald, Iceland's Althing, and several other Scandanavian legislative assemblies; even the UK's Parliament dates back to the 13th Century.  But they evolved; ours came about like Athena from the head of Zeus, and has endured.  Most don't.


fillyjonk said...

I'm okay with protesting, but I draw the line three places:

1. (This is what I'd be most flexible on, though I'd be peeved if it happened in my vicinity): being so loud late into the night that residents in the area cannot sleep or get their children to sleep.

2. Vandalizing others' property. How many G8 protests have we seen that involve trash cans thrown through storefront windows? The dude who owns the store is just a dude trying to make a living; he is not your enemy

3. Calling for assassination or plotting assassination. That is a level of chaos we do not want. Even beyond that fact that I tend to believe that I don't have the right to kill people that I even deeply disagree with over stuff or maybe think are "bad" people.

Roberta X said...

The last two are well beyond mere protest.

fillyjonk said...

Yeah, but I've heard people coming up with justifications for them.

rickn8or said...

"Do you intend to let them do so without proper supervision?"

I've made that mistake once. Why I ever thought leaving a building full of lawyers unsupervised is beyond me.

"Sly and devious creatures that bear close watching at all times."

Roberta X said...

"Yeah, but I've heard people coming up with justifications for them." I have, too, and yet no matter how much I study, "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances," that word "peaceably" stubbornly remains. Smash a few windows and -- hey, presto! -- you're not peaceably assembled, you're a vandal at least, and your petition isn't going to be nearly so loud as the crash of glass or the clink of the handcuff locks.

Sit there in the "wrong" section of the bus and say, "No," that's pretty peaceable and may be just what it takes to get the sign-wavers noticed. Stop the bus, push it over and set it on fire, not peaceable.

We remember MLK's speech to a vast assembly of people on the Mall; we remember the Days of Rage, too, but not proudly. Which event prompted the more lasting changes?

one_of_many said...

Presidents do make 'laws,' or at least their administrations do. They make them through the vast numbers of regulations issued by the various executive departments because Congress delegated the power to the executive. It shouldn't be this way, but it arguably has a greater negative effect on the country than most real laws.