It had to come to this.
Members of the “everybody gets a trophy” generation have taken to the streets to “protest” the election results, and in some cases, to riot. It’s a shame that no one ever taught them that taking meaningless action to express dissatisfaction with a free election is not protest, it’s a temper tantrum. If these people are really dissatisfied with the direction they feel the government is moving, they should craft a compelling argument for their positions. Glorified loitering and inconveniencing others is hardly a compelling “statement.”
But, before they attempt to craft an opposing argument, they should put some of their wounded feelings aside and try to employ reason. The left has been spoiled for generations. When the Democrats controlled government, they had the ability to use the coercive power of government to pander to any of their perceived needs. It didn’t matter what those needs were, whether the programs to address those needs were effective or right, or even whether the consequences of the government programs they desired were counterproductive. It just mattered that government did something, and that someone else paid for it or bore the consequences.
Typically, when Republicans took control of the apparatus of government, they employed restraint. Traditional Republicans usually believed in limited governmental power and in allowing each person to exercise their own individual liberty. In a worst case scenario for today’s fragile, precious snowflakes, the Republicans merely rolled back some of the more egregious abuses of governmental power and temporarily reduced the programs of the social-engineering elite.
Now, the left is confronted, for the first time in over a century, with a Republican president who supports a very activist, involved government, and not a limited government. And this phenomenon was created and supported by the left, as they incrementally expanded the powers of the centralized federal government and decreased the power of the states and the liberty of individuals. Finally, they are confronted with the prospect of seeing an intrusive, all-powerful government conceivably being used by the opposition to impose a different set of coercive policies on the population. Forgive me if I have little sympathy for those who are comfortable allowing the government to impose its will on the population when one group is in power, but uncomfortable with having a different group impose its will when it secures power. Did the left really think that governmental tyranny would only exist while they held the reigns of power?
These “protestors” come from a generation with a limited, insulated worldview. They were raised by “helicopter parents” who shielded them from any personal responsibility and protected them from any of life’s unpleasantness. For many, this is the first time they didn’t get what they thought they wanted; the first time somebody actually said, “NO!” to them. Their sense of moral superiority has been honed to the point that they can’t even conceive of any different viewpoints, and the only way to handle opposition is to demonize and try to dehumanize those with contrary opinions. When they seek out others, they surround themselves with like-minded sycophants and only follow media that reaffirms their previously held views. Individual liberty is an afterthought, if it is considered at all. Many of the young seek out the homogeny of self-affirmation, rather than the challenge of considering, and responding to, different life experiences and viewpoints. They herald diversity as an ideal, but fail to actually practice it.
It never occurred to these precious snowflakes that a large, intrusive central government might actually be used against them and advance an agenda contrary to their preferences. Their sense of moral infallibility blinds them from realizing that there is an inherent contradiction in supporting an all-encompassing, intrusive government in some areas, while opposing it in others. They don’t recognize that restoring a small, constrained government is preferable to a large, dictatorial, activist government, because their moral worldview can’t process the fact that some people want to live their own lives, make their own decisions, and bear their own consequences free of the whims of elites. They have failed to realize that when a person or entity is granted unlimited powers, they won’t hesitate to use those powers in any way they see fit.
Donald Trump may very well be a bad president. Contrary to a century of Republican practice, he has advocated for a very proactive government. If he follows through on his promises, he won’t wield power much differently than previous Democratic administrations. The policies may differ a bit, but the methodology he proposes comes straight out of the “progressive” playbook. Those who protest against the election of Trump, because they fear he might actually implement certain policies, must recognize that the entire system of government must change. A large, monolithic government that micromanages people’s lives and property must give way to the government our Founders conceived – small, responsive, and dedicated to preserving, and not infringing upon, personal and economic choice and liberty.
Just replacing one dictator with another won’t do. There will always come a time when a dictator will do something that certain people won’t like. Right now, the young protesters are experiencing this reality. If they want to be effective in changing things, the young protesters must look beyond their narrow worldview and address a structure that allows potential despots of any persuasion to wield power.
Or, we can just give them all trophies so they go back home.