Election 2016

Some Arrested Oregon Protestors Didn't Vote. So What?

The right to protest-peacefully, of course-is not contingent on whether you participated in the election.

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Conservative corners of social media have been having a chuckle at a story out of Portland, Oregon, about how some of the people arrested there for protesting the election of Donald Trump did not participate in the vote.

Here's the original piece, from Portland TV station KGW, which has since gone viral and been picked up by outlets including The Daily Caller, The Washington Free Beacon, and New York Magazine, to name a few.

The original report explains how the station cross-checked a list of 112 arrested protesters against voter rolls and found that 35 of them did not cast a ballot on Election Day and 35 others were not registered to vote. As a matter of fact, that means the arrested protesters voted at almost the same rate as the general population—take out the 35 who weren't registered and the remaining arrested protesters had a turn-out rate of 55 percent, compared to 58 percent for all registered voters nationally.

Within conservative media, though, this story has taken on a completely different slant.

"Portland Takes To The Streets To Protest, But Not To The Polls To Vote," blares a headline on Red State, bylined by Susan Wright. "If you don't vote, you shouldn't complain when you don't like the outcome," she says.

The conservative social media reaction was captured by Twitchy, which declared the non-voting status of some protestors to be "comedy gold."

Let me be clear: in no way am I defending of the violent riots in Portland (or elsewhere) that have damaged property and hurt people. The rioters in Portland should be criticized (and have been, including by my colleagues) for their violent actions and also for their decision to protest the outcome of the election while remaining silent on other abuses of power.

That being said, an individual's status as a voter or non-voter does not change their right to protest—peacefully—in the aftermath of an election or in response to any other action taken by the government. Constitutional rights do not apply only to those who vote. The 42 percent of registered voters who skipped the election still have the right to protest, as does any American who isn't registered to vote.

The implied argument—one made quite explicit by Wright and others—seems to be that if these protesters don't like the outcome of the election, they should have showed up to vote in an attempt to change it.

Except, no, because that's not how presidential elections in this country work.

Oregon was won by Hillary Clinton (and it wasn't particularly close). Those protesters could have voted until they were blue in the face and it wouldn't have changed a thing. In fact, the only thing that would have changed is that Clinton would have ended up with a slightly larger victory in the popular vote.

There's a second implication here, too, which is that voting is the only way to influence social change. "Don't like things, vote for something else" is both an oversimplified understanding of how and why changes happen and also a historically inaccurate one. Protests and mass movements have done at least as much to change the course of government policy throughout American history as even the most significant elections (this year's so-called "change election" saw 97 percent of incumbent congressmen returned to office, for example).

Again, none of this is meant to endorse the violent actions by some rioters in Portland and other cities around the country during the past week. I'm merely pushing back against those who chortle at protesters who didn't vote as if that fact somehow delegitimizes their complaints.

It's also worth noting that most of the protests against Trump's victory have been peaceful and hopefully will continue to be that way.

Destroying property and hurting people is not the way to register a complaint or to effect change. Still, that doesn't meant that voting is the exclusive way to do those things.

NEXT: Five Reasons Jeff Sessions Would Be No Friend of Liberty In the Trump Administration

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  1. Those protesters could have showed up to vote until they were blue in the face

    *narrows gaze*

    1. And the Republicans would have been red-faced with rage about it if it had happened.

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  2. I think the point is that their protest is shallow. They want to “protest” more than they want what they’re supposedly protesting about.

    1. Not that it affects their right to peaceably assemble.

      1. This is precisely what i showed up to say. Since you already said it, i guess i can take a nap.

      2. I think the key word is “peaceably”….

        1. Yes, this would appear to be the huge missed point in the whole thing.

    2. The vast majority of political protests in this country are extremely shallow. Especially campus protests where the participants have absolutely nothing at stake.

      1. I had to skip class for this you uncaring bastage!

        1. You mean the professor didn’t cancel the class for you so you could cope with the election results? WHAT A JERK!

    3. They want to “protest” more than they want what they’re supposedly protesting about.

      I don’t see how that’s in evidence. It’s objectively true that their votes would not have influenced the outcome in any way, shape, or form. How does the decision not to vote signal indifference about the result?

      1. While an individual vote is statistically meaningless in most national elections, votes are at least counted and the count is used to determine the outcome.

        Protests… not so much.

    4. Was Oregon ever in danger of going to Trump?

    5. Are you part of the alt-right? Because that sounded like some kind of racist alt-right explanation to me.

    6. Exactly.

      Personally, I think that if you are acting political now, by protesting, but took a powder when it comes to actually voting, you’re committing moron’s logic.

  3. Then why have I been angrily blamed for hillary?

  4. “so-called “change election” saw 97 percent of incumbent congressmen returned to office”

    This is because for Congress you benefit enormously by continuing to re-elect the same guy. As they serve longer they gain more power and responsibility in government and are able to wield that power for the people who voted for them.

    Hence why they can be universally reviled yet still re-elected. It’s everyone else’s congressman you truly hate. Not yours.

    1. Hey, now!

      I truly hate Mitch McConnell.

      And he is mine.

      1. I think there’s an actual point where they have just so much power that you’ve finally had enough.

      2. I hate *uck Schumer, and I’m stuck with him.

    2. Trump claimed after winning that he plans on implementing term limits. So we’ll see.

      1. lol. That won’t happen when the people who need to enact are the same ones who vote for it. He can’t executive order himself out of this one.

  5. Good grief, indeed. I’ve been enjoying gallons and gallons of the sweetest grief I’ve ever tasted over the last week.

    1. Remember when Trump said (or maybe someone was doing a bit and put these words in his mouth) “You’re going to be tired of all the winning?” Yeah, I haven’t gotten tired of it just yet.

  6. The point isn’t that they do not have a right to protest. The point is they are stupid.

    1. But whether or not they voted has nothing to do with that.

      1. Yeah it is. They have almost no power to influence the government and have chosen not even to wield that.

        1. *but instead to protest the outcome.

        2. I don’t agree. First of all, the people protesting the outcome of an election are all being equally stupid, whether or not they voted. Second, voting is not the only or most powerful way people have to influence the government. Calling up you legislators whenever you feel strongly about any issue before them probably has far more influence on government than voting does. Voting is probably the weakest means ordinary citizens have available to them to influence the government.

          1. Fair enough.

          2. Voting is probably the weakest means ordinary citizens have available to them to influence the government.

            I would say that voting sets the broad strokes while personal contact or connections can get little favors. So it’s a wash, really, as to which is the “strongest” means of influence. No matter how many times I write to one of my Senators, they are not going to change their votes on major bills. But I might be able to get them shed to e.g. Congressional light on some issue of personal concern, if it isn’t something they’d oppose out of hand because of ideology or party affiliation.

            1. move that “e.g.” around to wherever it fits best

            2. Maybe it is closer to a wash. But voting is far from the only or primary way people have to influence the government. If you add in the influence of paid lobbying and donations to campaigns, I’d still say voting is close to the weakest means people have to influence the government beyond very general trends.

              And when it comes to influencing your Senator or Rep., I’m sure your one call or letter isn’t going to change his mind. But hundreds or thousands of calls might. Which is a much smaller number than votes he needs to get elected.

              A recent example happened when the DEA tried to schedule kratom by emergency decree. Thousands of people contacted their senators and reps and they pressured the DEA to back off (for now at least). That wasn’t going to happen in the votin gbooth.

      2. I think ti does. They are protesting the result of the election. One of their claims is that Trump’s election is not legitimate because Hillary won the popular vote. The belief in the necessity of a popular majority for an election to be legitimate seems a bit at odds with your refusal to vote.

        1. I just think protesting the result of this election is stupid, period, whether or not you voted.

          But yes, I suppose if they are putting that much importance on the individual votes, they should have been bothered to go out and vote.

          1. I agree that protesting the results of an election is the heart of why this is so stupid. It would be different if they were claiming the election was fixed or stolen in some way. But they don’t seem to have any issues with the election other than that the wrong guy one. Yeah, well life is like that sometimes. If they want to protest some action Trump takes after becoming President, that is fine too. But to start protesting because you don’t like who won and without any specific action of policy of the winner you are objecting to, is idiotic.

            Basically, these people are protesting because that is what they do not because they have any rational demands or there would be any way to satisfy their demands even if they had any.

    2. I keep hearing about the “right to protest” and am not clear what this means. Right to assemble – understood, but obviously this doesn’t mean assemble anywhere. Civil disobedience has historically involved consequences (or at lease the threat).

      1. I suppose in a way you have the right to trespass and then take the consequences.

      2. It’s because dissent became the highest form of patriotism right about 2:30 AM on 9 November 2016.

  7. “The original report explains how the station cross-checked a list of 112 arrested protesters against voter rolls and found that 35 of them did not cast a ballot on Election Day and 35 others were not registered to vote.”

    Serious question, why did KGW think checking on this would be interesting?

    1. I find it interesting. Because we can make fun of them. You can clearly tell they are most young’uns of privilege who don’t vote, hold jobs, or have families of their own.

      And I want to make fun of them desperately because I’m really quite jealous. I have jobs and a family of my own. Sucks man. Wish I could go protest some shit.

    2. Because they figured they could get a few cheap clicks out of a story?

      1. I saw Cheap Click in Louisville when they opened for Rush.

        1. Extended version of “I want you to want me?”

      2. For the record, I do find it interesting. And finding it funny or ironic doesn’t mean I think they have no right to complain, but when you protest the outcome of something you didn’t participate in, it seems… like comedy gold. But please, protest away because I don’t want to come off as insensitive to people opposing the government.

        We seem to finally be getting some dissent after 8 years of everyone being asleep.

    3. Because they don’t have you in the comments section declaring how uninterested they are in the content of every article?

      1. What the fuck are you talking about?

        1. He’s saying that everyone looks so small when looking down on them from the peak of Mt. Sanctimonious.

          1. It’s really just a stack of phone books, that he stole from Joe.

          2. I hear that Mt Sanctimonious is the native land of the fabled High Horses.

            1. I hear them there are some tasty critters on the grill.

  8. If you didn’t believe enough in your horrible candidate to vote for her but want to protest after the fact, it makes you a stupid crybaby that has no concept of reality. Protests are a good thing(even the ones I disagree with), but don’t expect people to respect you or your movement when you don’t even participate in the process that you were protesting to begin with.

    1. Interesting that people don’t think it’s stupider to participate and then complain about it, than to refuse to participate in a bullshit process.

      1. They are complaining the results, which could have been changed if they had acted. Acting out now is a cry too far.

  9. We don’t yet know whether these particulars were peaceful – they face charges for non-peaceful activity. They’re presumed innocent, but maybe later evidence will show that some of them cared enough about opposing Trump to break the law, but didn’t care enough to vote.

  10. “That being said, an individual’s status as a voter or non-voter does not change their right to protest?peacefully?in the aftermath of an election or in response to any other action taken by the government”

    No, it doesn’t, but can it not be comedy gold when you protest the outcome of a vote when you didn’t vote?

  11. I’m so sick of people who say “if you didn’t vote you don’t have a right to complain”. If anything, the opposite is true. If you voted, you gave your tacit approval to the process and hence the outcome. If you did vote you have no business complaining.

    Actually, I don’t believe that either. Everyone always has the right to complain. Political participation is irrelevant because none of us asked to be ruled over in the first place.

    1. Sure they have a right to complain. And I have a right to make fun of them for it.

      1. And I would never try to deny you that right.

        I bring it up because a lot of people do frame it as “you have no right…”, which is just wrong.

        1. When people write that, I often mentally substitute “you have no call,” because I think that’s sometimes more what they mean.

    2. These particular guys probably want to be ruled over, good and hard. They just don’t like one potential ruler.

      1. ^^^^THIS^^^^

        It’s all a matter of the right person doing the domination..

          1. It’s depressing that I recognize that – it’s not a slur at Christ, but a quote from the SouthPark character known as Mr. Slave.

            If I could only forget stuff like that I’d have more room in my brain for more important information.

        1. Getting the right dom is important…or so I’ve heard.

  12. Destroying property and hurting people is not the way to register a complaint or to effect change

    Seems to have worked for ISIS.

  13. VOTE OR DIE. THEY HAVE DONE NEITHER. THEY ARE CHEATERS.

    1. WHY ARE YOU YELLING? IS THIS A PROTEST POST? (one more question mark and someone will accuse me of being Judge Nap)

      1. THEY HAVE ANGERED THE VOTING GODS. THEIR PITIFUL ACT OF CONTRITION WILL NOT APPEASE THE VOTING GODS. AS TRUMP DESCENDS UPON THE LANDS THE CRIES OF THEIR LAMENTATIONS WILL GO UNHEARD AND THEY WILL FIND THEMSELVES STRIPPED OF ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS WITHIN THE CAUSE. THEY WILL KNOW NOTHING BUT SCORN AND WILL FIND NO ACCEPTANCE. THEY WILL WALK THE EARTH OUTCASTS AND THEIR LAMENTATIONS WILL GO UNHEARD.

        1. CROM APPROVES. DO YOU KNOW THE RIDDLE OF STEEL?

          1. THE CHEATERS’ FLESH GROWS WEAK AND THEIR PROTEST SIGNS BRITTLE BUT THE VOTERS’ WILL IS INDOMITABLE.

            1. Everyone around here is a poet and I didn’t know it.

        2. I like the cut of your jib, sir. Ecclesiarchy could use a man like you.

          1. Don’t bring that nerd stuff to my thread, man. THE VOTING GODS WAKE FROM THEIR SLUMBER TWICE A YEAR AND BECOME FULLY CORPOREAL EVERY FOURTH YEAR TO RAIN DESTRUCTION OR GRANT PROSPERITY AS COMMENSURATE WITH THE CHOICES OF MAN, BOTH VOTER AND CHEATER ALIKE, FOR WHEN MAN DECIDES NOT TO CHOOSE HE STILL WILL HAVE MADE A CHOICE.

            1. Ease up there, Geddy!

            2. HERESY, THE STAR CHILDREN OF ELSEWHERE ARE THE REAL GODS AND AGILE CYBORG IS THE ONE TRUE PROPHET.

    2. Violent protest, what we so proudly hail
      Didn’t vote for Her?
      Setting us up to fail!
      Never begins it, never, but once engaged…
      Never stops whining, showing the tears of rage

      Please look at me!

      So be it
      Threaten no more
      To defeat Trump is to cry for Her!
      So be it
      Settle the score
      Defeat us again for the words that you’ll hear evermore…

      Please look at me!

      1. If that’s supposed to be sung to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner, I’m just not hearing it.

        1. It’s Metallica’s “Don’t Tread on Me.” Your “Vote or die” rhetoric sounds very “liberty or death” and it was a short hop to Gadsden rhetoric, and thus this song which it inspired.

  14. C’mon man!

    Sure they can protest, and have every right to, but they also deserve massive amounts of derision for complaining about a process they failed to even show up for.

    This is ‘comedy gold’, and completely in line with the stereotype that they’re whiney little bitches.

    I don’t think anyone is talking about taking away the sniveler’s right to assemble; they just seem to be utilizing their own freedom of speech to point at them and laugh.

    1. I take full responsibility for Trump myself. It’s my fault for voting 3rd party.

      1. Hey I proudly voted for Trump. I have big shoulders, I can carry the blame. (Actually I live in Kansas, so I could have voted for Crusty and nothing would have changed.)

      2. I’m protesting your taking of my responsibility!

        My weak ass actually pulled up at the last second and voted for the Orange Savior, because the thought of Hillary was giving me hives.

        In fact, it’s Hillary’s responsibility for making so many people vote for an asshole.

        Let’s go turn over some police cars!! WHO IS WITH ME?!?!

        1. *kicks empty donut box in break room
          There you go.

  15. “Oregon was won by Hillary Clinton (and it wasn’t particularly close). Those protesters could have voted until they were blue in the face and it wouldn’t have changed a thing. In fact, the only thing that would have changed is that Clinton would have ended up with a slightly larger victory in the popular vote.”

    The protesters aren’t all from Oregon. (Maybe the arrested portion were though)

  16. We get it. You hate those right-wing teabagging rat bastards just as much as those well-intentioned, yet na?ve and disenfranchised progressives who just want us to work together.

    The false equivalence is truly remarkable. So right-wingers making fun of cry-babies are literally rioting and destroying private property are just as bad as the rioters. Got it.

    1. Where is the equivalence drawn?

      Seems pretty clear in the text that the violent protests/riots are unacceptable and bad while the people criticizing them are being kind of silly and obtuse. Doesn’t seem like a moral equivalence is being suggested in the least.

  17. “As a matter of fact, that means the arrested protesters voted at almost the same rate as the general population?take out the 35 who weren’t registered and the remaining arrested protesters had a turn-out rate of 55 percent, compared to 58 percent for all registered voters nationally.”

    I’d bet if you went to a Tea Party protest in Alabama you’d get a lot more than 58%, you should expect that from politically active people. Boehm knows that, he’s just signalling.

    It’s hilarious because all the talking heads were going on about the Clinton “get out the vote” efforts and how Trump didn’t have any. They neglected to consider that maybe that was because Trump supporters didn’t need them.

  18. I say again, usually protests have demands, whether it be “End the war in Vietnam” or “Police Stop Kicking the Crap out of People” or “Pay for My Childcare”. What are the demands here? “Hey man, reality didn’t conform to my liking. Do over!”

    1. With Trump I think it’s basically always been about trying to control the Overton window such that everything Trump says is deemed unacceptable.

      Also they’re melodramatically living out their little fantasy of being civil rights marchers as if the issues and struggle really are as big as they’ve been in real revolutionary times in the past.

  19. Yes, they are entitled to lawfully protest. A number of them were rioting though. And practically all of them have been “protesting” by standing in the middle of the street. Which is not legal.

    They also look like fucking morons for complaining about an election result when they didn’t vote.

    It’s like protesting about how you didn’t win the lottery when you never bought a ticket.

  20. Destroying property and hurting people is not the way to register a complaint or to effect change.

    Really? What are the odds of a newspaper or news website printing/posting, say, cartoons of Mohamed today, vs, say, 1976?
    Violence works. The only question is how much violence is either side of an issue willing to apply.

    1. “My mother said violence doesn’t solve anything.”

      “Really? I wonder what the city-fathers of Carthage would have to say about that.”

      Violence absolutely works when you’re able to get away with it without consequence. Non-violent protest only really succeeds because the powers that be stomping on you delegitimizes them.

      1. Violence absolutely works when you’re able to get away with it without consequence.

        Or when you’re willing to follow it through to near-complete annihilation of the other guy.

        That’s not to glamorize it or legitimize it, but it’s the raw truth behind the belief that “history is written by the victors.”

        1. Funny how many of my battles in Skyrim end immediately after the last witness is slaughtered.

  21. Ouch, all the guys trying to appear socially conscious and get laid, wasted effort now that they’ve been outed as non-voters.

  22. peacefully, of course

    ?

    The entire point is that they were arrested for behaving violently….AND didn’t vote…. not that they were merely protesting and didn’t vote. The nexus of the fist two things is the ()#*@$ point.

    Your retort requires pretending that people are criticizing perfectly-peaceful people. they’re not.

    “Mostly peaceful” is quickly becoming a phrase as absurd as the Politifact-notion of “Mostly True” = used in the service of people they approve of when they’re caught slinging total-horseshit

    That “mostly peaceful” label could also have applied just as equally to the Trump rallies which everyone in the media agreed were dangerous hotbeds of racist, anti-democratic forces which should terrify all right-thinking people.

    Apologias for post-election rioters, while pearl-clutching over people engaged in the political process = modern political journalism.

    1. I don’t agree with the notion that no one is or would criticize the peaceful protesters who didn’t vote. There appear to be people in this very comment board arguing that.

      1. “There appear to be people in this very comment board arguing that.”

        You bet!
        See 4:08 below.

      2. There appear to be people in this very comment board arguing that.

        Go argue with them, then. I’m responding to Eric, who seems to think criticism of the violent-non-voters = a rejection of people’s “right to protest”… which is bullshit.

      3. I don’t agree with the notion that no one is or would criticize the peaceful protesters who didn’t vote.

        I wish i didn’t need to point out that this is the sort of straw-manning that i’m criticizing in the first place.

        Because its not what i said.

        People DO criticize the people protesting an election after its over…. and there are perfectly good reasons to do so. But that has little/nothing to do with the “not voting” part.

        The only reason anyone ever learned that these people were “non-voters” in the first place was because they were arrested.

        1. You wrote this:

          “Your retort requires pretending that people are criticizing perfectly-peaceful people. they’re not.”

          This is true if you limit it to just the people that were arrested, and assume that they were all indeed not being peaceful and that none of them were improperly arrested, but that ignores the fact that people are criticizing them, and other, peaceful protesters, for reasons unrelated to violence or vandalism.

          Take the quoted RedState article:

          “‘Portland Takes To The Streets To Protest, But Not To The Polls To Vote,’ blares a headline on Red State, bylined by Susan Wright. ‘If you don’t vote, you shouldn’t complain when you don’t like the outcome,’ she says.”

          How is that argument dependent on whether or not a protester/rioter is or isn’t violent? You’re the one that seems to be assuming the criticism is all based on them being violent, just because this was discovered from them being arrested. But that doesn’t follow. If this was discovered by an investigative reporter interviewing non-violent protesters, most of these criticisms about not complaining if you didn’t vote would be just as valid (or invalid) as they’re not all dependent on the criticized people being violent.

          1. This is true if you limit it to just the people that were arrested

            No one else has been demonstrated to be a non-voter. Which is exactly the point which you seem to keep missing.

          2. this statement was to be understood as =

            “Your retort requires pretending that people are criticizing perfectly-peaceful (protesting) people FOR NOT VOTING. they’re not.”

            read the first sentences in my comment again. the entire point of the “non-voting” angle was relevant to violent protesters, and no one else – because no one else could possibly have that proven about them.

            I also pointed out that if someone wanted to criticize peaceful protesters, there are certainly plenty of reasons for that as well. just different ones.

            its a little ridiculous this has to be spoonfed to you

  23. that doesn’t meant that voting is the exclusive way to do those things.

    a retort to a point no one anywhere seems to have ever made.

  24. http://heatst.com/politics/hil…..ge-voters/

    These people are fascists. I don’t know why Reason feels compelled to defend and excuse them. Telling the truth about some of Trump’s opponents being fascists does not require you to support Trump or in any way prevent you from being critical of Trump.

  25. Years ago I saw, on a magazine show, an episode, where Oregon handed out welfare checks to young adults. They showed some living in California and still getting checks. They were on permanent funemployement, literally. Does anyone know if this is still in effect? It would explain why so many young live in Portland and why Oregon is a hotbed of anarchists.

  26. Years ago I saw, on a magazine show, an episode, where Oregon handed out welfare checks to young adults. They showed some living in California and still getting checks. They were on permanent funemployement, literally. Does anyone know if this is still in effect? It would explain why so many young live in Portland and why Oregon is a hotbed of anarchists.

  27. kbolino|11.16.16 @ 3:05PM|#
    “I think the point is that their protest is shallow. They want to “protest” more than they want what they’re supposedly protesting about.”

    Here’s the point:
    Q. What are they protesting against?
    A. They are protesting against a lawful election which could have been swayed by voters.
    So: Hypocrisy on display.

    1. )This does not mean they should be restrained from (non-violent) protest, just that it needs to be recognized as the hypocrisy it is.)

    2. The election is decided by the electoral college.

      How many of the conservatives mocking these protestors on this issue are also rightly pointing out that the popular vote is meaningless when people know the pres is decided by electoral votes?

      1. Not sure of your point.

        1. His point is that these people voting could not have swayed the election, because Oregon already voted for Clinton comfortably (which everyone knew in advance was going to happen). She could have gotten the vote of every registered voter in Oregon and it would have made 0 difference on the electoral vote.

  28. No one said they didn’t have the right to be stupid. Not voting and then complaining you’re candidate didndt win is stupid. If they were just anti-govt they’d be fine.

  29. Fine, then they can work to amend the Constitution to remove the Electoral College. In the mean time, increasing Hillary’s popular vote numbers would have given their point of view more weight. Yes, they have a right to protest, but having a right to do something doesn’t make it a wise move.

  30. RE: Some Arrested Oregon Protestors Didn’t Vote. So What?
    The right to protest?peacefully, of course?is not contingent on whether you participated in the election.

    The protesters have a good reason not to vote.
    It takes too much effort for them to make a simple decision, not to mention the strain of pushing all those heavy and awkward buttons on the voting machine.
    Only a select few in this country are strong enough to engage in that kind of activity and live.

  31. The rioters in Portland should be criticized (…) for their violent actions and also for their decision to protest the outcome of the election while remaining silent on other abuses of power.

    Your grammar is a bit complex, but it sure sounds like you’re putting “the outcome of the election” squarely in the class of “abuses of power”. I happen to agree with that, for any election under a violence-backed regime, but I doubt that’s how you meant it.

  32. I surmise that Hillary was to be the participation trophy of this election, and the poor dears are upset at not getting Her even without participating.

  33. There’s a second implication here, too, which is that voting is the only way to influence social change. “Don’t like things, vote for something else” is both an oversimplified understanding of how and why changes happen and also a historically inaccurate one. Protests and mass movements have done at least as much to change the course of government policy throughout American history as even the most significant elections.

    Except they’re protesting an election in which they didn’t vote, not some policy (like Obama’s doubling of deportations) that they don’t have a direct vote on. I get what you’re saying about the electoral college and I agree that these people still have the right to protest, but I have a problem with these protests in the same way I have a problem with BLM protests and the Occupy Wall Street protests. That is, what is the concrete change you are proposing? If you’re just going out there to say “I’m angry”, than fuck off because that’s not any help. If you’re going out there to say “we need to change the next president by retroactively changing the rules of the election…” well then, fuck you too because those rules were setup way before the election.

    I understand protesting the electoral college, but just getting out there to say “I don’t like the result” is stupid. But I get it, we all have the constitutional right to publicly express how stupid we are.

  34. I dunno. Just a guess, but if 35 people arrested at a Portland, OR protest didn’t vote in Oregon, what I wonder is if they’re from Washington.

    Portland is just across the bridge from any number of Washingtonians who might choose to go on up to the Big City Protest rather than shout with three other people outside the city hall in Podunksville, Clark County. Maybe even 35 of them.

    1. This is a good point. If they are college students from out of state, they may also have voted absentee in their home states.

  35. So if you arn’t going to vote for ‘change’ / what you want, how else do you plan on getting that? Through violent protests and mob rule.

    Fuck that, you don’t vote you can shut the fuck up. It’s because you don’t get what you want legitimately, so you think it’s okay to drag people out of cars and beat them up, torch buildings, block freeways, etc.

    Just the left throwing a temper tantrum, that’s it.

  36. Felons can’t vote.

  37. That being said, an individual’s status as a voter or non-voter does not change their right to protest

    I don’t see people denying them the right to protest peacefully; they are just pointing out the protestors’ hypocrisy and lack of democratic engagement.

  38. Nice spin you put on it….. it’s not just conservative media who sees it this way. And the trick you did to show how they turned out in average numbers… you don’t get to conveniently discount the fact that 1/3rd weren’t even registered to vote. I get protesting the electoral process and I get protesting certain policies but protesting the outcome of an election that you couldn’t be bothered to participate in speaks more to the fact that you are operating from a place of entitlement rather than a genuine interest in Democracy or social change. And if you think assaulting people who did participate or vandalizing property is protest then you should be arrested.

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