Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The American Left Will Be In Power For A Long Time

...if the American Right gets up to nonsense like this.

Also, I share Steve M's view of street protests:

Demos and marches may have had a real effect on American politics a couple of generations ago (while also generating a nasty backlash), but now they influence no one and barely make the papers.

A facebook page with a couple dozen signatures gets as much coverage as a march with several thousand bodies in it. Nobody freezes or gets rained on, and you can control the wing-nuts simply by employing the delete key.

h/t VF.


Mr. Lorne said...

Street protests are a by-product of a democratic society. Are they effective? Maybe...maybe not.

At least they're not hurting anyone.

Ti-Guy said...

At least they're not hurting anyone.

That's why they're largely ineffective. If protests aren't at least menacing, the authorities won't take them seriously.

Partisan Hobo said...

As Leeky suggests, the freedom to assemble is essential for democracy. That said, the right to get together with whomever you please in public doesn't mean that protesting is always your best political tactic.

The great protestor Saul Alinsky even suggested in Rules for Radicals even believed you need to adjust your tactics. Rule #7 is: "A tactic that drags on for too long becomes a drag. Commitment may become ritualistic as people turn to other issues." (Details here.)

Protests worked a few decades ago, and that's precisely the reason why they don't work now. They are a bit too predictable, what with the signs and the chanting and such. It's easy to tune out a protest because it's a familiar scene. There's nothing inherently wrong with them as a tactic, though. I'm sure after a few years of distance-based protest, getting together IRL will be the hep thing to do.