Sorry, Trump Protestors: This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Sorry, Trump Protestors: This Is What Democracy Looks Like

The election of Donald J. Trump was perhaps unfortunate, but he is now our president, and there are no do-overs in a democracy.
Bethany Mandel
By

“This is what democracy looks like!” That was my favorite chant during the anti-war protests I participated in my senior year of high school in 2004. Twelve years later, the same folks I marched down Sixth Avenue with protesting outside the Fox News building are back at it, protesting the victory of Donald Trump.

I’ve got some bad news for the thousands of my former comrades marching through the streets: You saw what democracy looks like on Tuesday night. The election of Donald J. Trump was perhaps unfortunate from your perspective (and truthfully, mine), but he is now our president, and there are no do-overs in a democracy.

The night after the 2016 election, we saw the Bush-era protests, which had taken a hiatus for a Democratic president despite foreign interventions during his administration, reborn for the Trump presidency before it has even begun. The signs, flags, banners were standard far-left fare: Palestinian flags were visible in television coverage, a projector with a message of solidarity for Standing Rock reservation. Anderson Cooper reported hearing chants of “Black Lives Matter” and men holding signs about gay rights were present early in the evening in Union Square.

These Protests Mean Nothing But Anarchy

Twelve years ago I was active in anti-war protests against President George W. Bush’s actions in Iraq (sorry about that, sir, that’s my youthful indiscretion). I was driven from the ranks of groups with words like “solidarity” in their names because of rampant anti-Semitism among those I was marching alongside.

I was there for one reason: I was uncomfortable with our military’s actions in Iraq. I soon learned most of the folks I was marching alongside had a much larger agenda: the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, a $900 per hour minimum wage (that’s only slightly hyperbolic), free college education, etc. Each protest was aimless, with no clear objective in mind besides anarchy. Chants about Palestine and overheard side conversations made me uncomfortable standing among my fellow progressives as a Jew and a budding Zionist, and soon I dropped out of the movement and began a slow shift rightward.

I was driven from the progressive cause because I came to learn that messages about inclusiveness, love, and respect were contingent upon a very specific set of characteristics one had to already possess. We are seeing that same hypocrisy in the present. Remember long ago, earlier this week, when the winning team was duty-bound to respect the outcome of the election and the fate of the republic rested upon a peaceful acceptance of the results?

You’re Helping Trump, People

A generation raised on participation trophies has changed the rules of the game in the tenth inning, deciding only some electoral results would be honored as valid because losing is not an option. Chants of “not my president” are now heard reverberating through urban centers, shouted by the same folks who just a few days ago were warning of civil unrest when Trump was defeated.

By blocking the streets of Manhattan, Chicago, and more, the progressives who staffed Bernie’s army are proving they still don’t understand the first thing about the Trump phenomenon. The hyperbolic clickbait about losing access to contraception and violence against gays is absurd. During his campaign Trump said many ridiculous things, but fear-mongering about birth control and gay rights is standard fare for the Left. Do they even know what they’re protesting? It’s already unclear.

By painting Trump’s agenda with the same brush they’ve used against the rest of the Republican Party while spending the day smearing every single Trump voter as a bigot, racist, sexist, and more, the only thing these city-wide protests are accomplishing is retroactively moving more supporters into Trump’s camp.

Perhaps we should be thanking these protesters for helping bring us all together, as President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton implored we should, to stand behind Trump as he prepares to become president of the United States. As we are reminded of how quickly the Left goes from cheerleaders of democracy to hell-bent on anarchy once again, this “Never Trump” Republican is thinking that perhaps Trump’s supporters were onto something when they started to swing towards their preferred candidate when we watched Black Lives Matters protests tear our cities apart in the last year.

Bethany Mandel is a stay-at-home mother of three children under four and a writer on politics and culture. She is a senior contributor to The Federalist, a columnist for the Jewish Daily Forward, and a contributor at Acculturated. She lives with her husband, Seth, in New Jersey. You can follow her on Twitter @BethanyShondark.

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