Yes, we can have #NotMyPresident. But in 4, 8, or 12 years – when the next Democratic candidate takes the Presidency – expect Republicans to follow your lead.
Just hours after Donald Trump was officially confirmed as President-elect of the United States, protests operating under the ideological banner of “#NotMyPresident” swept across the country. The movement denounces Trump as a racist, sexist, and dictator; refuses to accept the legitimacy of Trump’s democratic path to the Presidency.
It is immature, undemocratic, and embarrassing child’s play to say the least.
Protesting is one thing – in fact, it is a right to be defended at all costs. But taking to the streets and refusing to accept the outcome of an election simply because your candidate did not win, is something that should be ridiculed (and had it been a Clinton victory followed by pro-Trump protests, it most certainly would have been). Do not mistake these protests for democracy. It is anti-democracy in practice.
Furthermore, this points out a major contradiction on the Left. While on the one hand the Left fetishizes democracy by constantly espousing the sanctity of “the will of the people”, as soon as a Republican wins anything – be it a senate race, a governorship, or heaven forbid the Presidency – all the ‘flaws’ that the Left sees in the system, are suddenly outed.
More specifically, the ‘flaws’ that the Left has been eager to fix over the last week (most notably the Electoral College) were not being discussed at all just 24 hours before the election. This, alone, should discredit their claim.
You cannot be in favour of democracy only when it suits your side. You can either participate in the electoral process fully willing to accept the results regardless of your views, or you have to denounce it entirely. There cannot be a double-standard that if the GOP wins the Presidency, the system should be protested against and torn down, but propped up as long as the Democrats win.
Accepting that your candidate has lost the election is the cornerstone of democracy (as well as maturity, but that is a different, although not entirely unrelated topic).
Although it is the epitome of being a ‘sore loser’, and as long as it is peaceful, there is not much else wrong with these protests. However, it sets a grim precedent for future elections to come: if you do not like the results, whine about it.
To those protesting alongside #NotMyPresident, please remember this warning in years to come: Yes, we can have #NotMyPresident. But in 4, 8, or 12 years – when the next Democratic candidate takes the Presidency – expect Republicans to follow your lead. When Republicans protest on the streets of New York, Washington, and Los Angeles just as you have, do not dare make allusions to Kristallnacht, do not ridicule them, and most certainly do not dare claim to never have supported such protests.
If you can honestly promise to support anti-democratic protests from all positions on the political spectrum, continue to protest. If not, please stop spitting on the electoral system, and do what Republicans have done twice now since 2008: shut up, wipe your nose, and carry on.