Cast Votes not Rocks

There are many reasons why some people are dissatisfied with Donald Trump and with the other political candidates, but recently there have been a lot of protests against Trump at his rallies. Frequently there is rioting or other violence. Though Trump is not my target, I will use the protests against Trump here in Albuquerque as an example.

Aside from getting publicity for or against one or the other side, What is gained? Obviously the violent protests are not going to change Mr. Trump’s mind or discourage any of his followers from backing him. If anything, a protest may encourage some of his followers to back Trump more enthusiastically because, in the mind of the followers, the protests only validate the correctness of what Trump has been saying.

Granted, the protesters are letting off steam, letting the world know how wrong that think Trump is, but I question the results they are achieving. Is anyone paying attention to the protesters or the groups who usually organize these riots. I would submit there are few, if any, spontaneous demonstrations. Evidence of this are the number of professionally printed signs carried by protesters. Trump’s rallies tend to mostly grow support among those already backing him. These protests probably do little but gather support (and funds) from those who already agree with their agenda.

What benefit is there from the injuries and property damage that result from the riots? Overtime pay for police on duty certainly does not help the local budgets. Riots, for any cause, are an expensive way for us to vent our frustrations.

Back in the hippy days of the 1960’s, there were a lot of little conflicts around the world, and one such conflict expanded into the Vietnam War. The hippies kept flaunting the slogan, “Make Love not War”. The hippies were searching for world peace and love. Thus they opposed war of any type, and especially if it involved Americans. Their point was that love would accomplish more than war. Unfortunately, the hippies became known more for their free sexual love, eros in Greek, than for brotherly love, philios, or divine love, agape. While philios or agape may have had more impact on settling those conflicts than war, sexual love would not.

In this case, violent protests, do little to turn political opponents to one’s point of view. When a protester hurls a rock, what does it prove? What does it say, especially if the rock is thrown at a policeman who is there to keep the peace?

One point of view is that there are  citizens who agree with the protesters but who think they are alone in that thought. Thus a well publicized protest may be aimed at letting potential supporters know how many people take the view of the protesters; but if all you do is get people to agree with you, you accomplish little.

The United States government is a republic based on the model of a democracy. Our representatives are elected by a majority of the voters and are expected to be responsive to the voices of the majority. Our constitution says nothing about our government officials having to listen to protesters.

Thus I say CAST VOTES not ROCKS. A very large number of people who are eligible to vote are not even registered, and we seldom get as many as 50 per cent of the registered voters to vote. Let us do away with violent protests. For that mater, let us minimize our protests lest they turn violent. If you feel strongly about any issue or a candidate, show up at the poling place on election day and cast a ballot that records your position. Your ballot plus the ballots of 50 per cent of the voters casting ballots will carry the day. The rock you throw at a policeman accomplishes nothing in the long run, even if you draw blood from the unlucky cop.

Vote and please vote intelligently.


About Reynold Conger

Reynold Conger is a retired scientist, engineer and teacher. Now writing fiction. His books are CHASED ACROSS AUSTRALIA, MY KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR and REDUCING MEDICAL COSTS (AT THE COST OF HEALTH). He has also started a series of novelas called THE RICHARD TRACY SERIES. Residence: New Mexico, USA Hobbies: gardening, animals and running. website
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