Media roundup: Reaction to anti-Trump protesters divided

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Election exit poll data shows Hillary Clinton would have pummeled Donald Trump 496 electoral votes to 39 if millennials only voted. America’s youth took Trump’s victory especially hard. Their reactions have society arguing about the appropriate way to respond for those faced with election results they didn’t want.

College students were a staple demographic in the throngs assembled across U.S. cities to protest Donald Trump’s win. College students made news for receiving optional midterms, cancelled classes and coping programs to work through Trump-induced emotional trauma on Nov. 9.

Across the board, demonstrators chant “Not My President,” and others respond, “Yes, he is.”

Some thinkers view election result protestors as a group of sore losers featuring individuals who didn’t vote and are trying to change the fair-and-square results of the election.

In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo, marchers block traffic on highway US 36 just outside Boulder, Colo., during a protest in opposition of Donald Trump's presidential election victory. (Paul Aiken/Daily Camera via AP)
In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo, marchers block traffic on highway US 36 just outside Boulder, Colorado, during a protest in opposition of Donald Trump’s presidential election victory. (Associated Press)

Washington State Sen. Doug Ericksen said they have every right to protest, but he wants to draw a line between the First Amendment right and thuggery.

Ericksen, R—Ferndale, is working on a bill that creates the felony category “economic terrorism.” Peaceful protesters, picketers and strikers would stay protected under the new bill, but demonstrators who become violent, riotous or infringe on economic activity or other people’s rights would face criminal prosecution.

As for the millennial safe space schools are offering, Iowa State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R—Wilton, said he finds this “incredibly annoying.” He is preparing a bill, nicknamed “suck it up, buttercup,” that cuts federal funding for schools that spend taxpayer dollars on grief counseling for college students after elections.

Kaufmann’s bill would also follow Ericksen’s by criminalizing protesters who block roads. 100 people managed to block Iowa City’s Interstate 80 for 30 minutes as a part of their anti-Trump protest a few days after the election.

Although some individuals who support protesting have the goal to block Trump from the White House or reverse the election results to favor Hillary Clinton, most see it differently.

In a Nov. 17 press conference in Germany, President Barack Obama passed up the chance to use his influence to curb the protests, as requested by Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. Instead, President Obama acknowledged likely every president in American history has had to endure a few protests and speaking up in moral opposition is a bulwark of American liberty.

A Huffington Post op-ed by Jesse Benn pointed out his reasons to resist Trump, and even to do so violently. From where Benn stands, Trump represents the pinnacle of intolerance and skirting democratic processes to execute it. He fundamentally lowered the bar of American politics, and unless protesters voice their discontent, that kind of behavior for an American leader and their supporters becomes commonplace and the nation slides into fascism.

Benn points out that violent opposition is exactly how the country has historically triumphed over anti-American values like racism. A liberal politician or a battle of ideas hasn’t typically been what spurs the change — its demonstrations and rebellions that can’t go ignored.

Benn wraps up his piece with a message directly for the people calling protesters whiny and violence the wrong way to react: the privilege of considering a Trump presidency in the abstract doesn’t authorize dictating how the oppressed can respond to a direct threat to their livelihood.

A Twitter thread from @moshekasher pitches another view: protesting sends a message with palpable power. It tells the world not all Americans sided with Trump and his rhetoric. It tells minority groups threatened by Trump that they’re not alone. And it tells president-elect Trump he’ll face a fight with the popular majority should he step out of bounds.

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