Protestors do more harm than good
The best news of the week has to be the fizzled protests in New York
City. What was expected by some to be a Seattle/Genoa-esque protest was
thankfully reduced to a relatively small handful of disorganized banner-wavers.
Whether it was the recent tragedy that quelled enthusiasm for breaking
Starbucks windows, or the strong but respectful police presence, or just
bad weather, a protest was not what New York needed last weekend.
And while the protestors are dead wrong in the vast majority of their
insurrectionary, anti-capitalist, anti-globalization, anti-McDonald's,
Corporate Oppression, Nader For President, Anarchist, I Hate America,
The-War-in-Afghanistan-is-Racist antics, the real reason they will never
change anyone's mind is simple. People outside college don't identify
People support the police, enjoy law and order, and want to go about
their daily lives and provide for their families without being yelled
at to support an End to This, or a Coalition for That. Middle America
does not like what it sees in the protestors. As Rod Dreher writes in
the National Review Online, "If objecting to the globalists means
standing shoulder-to-shoulder with pierced-and-tattooed ambisexual wackos
yelling hate-America slogans and cursing the president, well, fuggedaboutit."
While one can't seem to keep track of the myriad of groups vying for
attention, they all seem to coalesce under the guise of anti-globalization.
The great irony, of course, is that the anti-globalization movement is
about as globalized as it gets, using the Internet, pagers, and cell phones
to coordinate protests across the world.
Thankfully, New York did not get a reenactment of Genoa, where a supposedly
small number of violent anarchists were able to turn crowds against police,
resulting in one death. I've seen the pictures, and contrary to what all
the supporters say, it looked like more than a few protestors were bent
on violence that week.
Modern-day protestors lack the unifying force of the Vietnam generation.
And while not everyone protested in the 1960s, wide support existed for
those who did. There was a general consensus that they had moral right
on their side. While some may wish to make legitimate grievances known
in a peaceful and non-disruptive manner, too many of their fellow protestors
aren't interested in real conversation.
The result is a loosely knit group of disrespectful, largely ignorant people bent more on disruption than achievement. Not that their true motives would matter anyway, for as long as protests continue in the manner seen in Seattle and Genoa, the protestors will do more harm for their cause than good.