Tens of thousands of people have protested the recent election of Donald Trump for President of the United States. While I can say with one hundred percent certainty I don't want Trump in that office either, I can also say with one hundred percent certainty that protesting this way isn't going to help us out all that much.
The election was last week and still protests are happening across the country. In Portland, they got pretty heated. Yet now we're finding out that only One-Third of protesters that were arrested actually bothered to vote. On top of that, the demands that they're making are based on a lack of respect for what a Republic(or even a Democracy that they champion) really is. Just because you lose the majority vote, does not mean you get to disrupt society over it.
Protesters would do well to take note of the sense of injustice that they feel right now, because it's exactly the kind of thing our founding fathers were trying to avoid. Our Republic was designed to give people unalienable rights. Yet lately, the Constitution hasn't really meant much to lawmakers anyway. So can we honestly say that we have a Republic anymore? Or do we have more of a true Democracy in America?
The difference between the two is a Republic is limited by it's founding Constitution or Bill Of Rights. Documents that detail laws that cannot be broken, even by the government itself. So if that's the case, and not even Government is adhering to the Constitution, then what do we have? Well, something Libertarians have been saying for years "The Tyranny of the Majority".
There are a lot of really dirty and downright terrible things that happen in our every day life because of this idea. Perhaps it's why our founding fathers championed local and small government. Because if an elected official in your town does something you disagree with, you can contact them directly. You're far more likely to run into them on the street, or see them at the grocery store, and be able to talk to them and discuss the issue.
In Federal Government, this idea that you can keep tabs on your elected official is pretty much moot. How many people have actually met or talked to their Senators or Congressmen? And if they have, how many of these people met them purely at a campaign rally, where they are no doubt seeking more election funds than they are discussions on policy? I realize in big cities where millions of people live this is a much more difficult problem.
Personally, that's exactly why I don't live in big cities. It's not just because I'm an introvert, it's because when you understand how many factors go into shaping a person's beliefs it's absurd to think that everyone is going to get along. Any day can bring an event that gives you new perspective on the world, and along with it new ideas. Especially in terms of poverty and minorities.
I don't claim to know what minorities deal with considering I'm a white male. I understand and respect that so many people have been dealt such bad cards that they live their lives the only way that they've ever been given an opportunity to. Now let's take this idea that we can never know what another person has been through to gain their beliefs, and let's look at it in terms of Federal Government.
With over 315MILLION people, all with their own lives and perspectives, how on Earth do we find it sane to elect one person to such a high position of power? How is the Presidency even still a thing? Mainly because so few think outside of the box that they've been given that it's hard to see any other system. These protests don't call for the dismantling of a government that is fundamentally broken.
These protests don't call for awareness that such a small handful of people could never be able to do anything that pleases everyone. Where are the protests calling for understanding in our communities? Where are the protests to more people knowing about National Donut Day than National Volunteer Week.
Let me also throw a little bit of numbers at you protesters, because I like your spirit and I'd like to see it put to good use. There doesn't seem to be any official number of people protesting, so I'll use the number Ten Thousand just to give you some perspective.
If ten thousand people protested every night since the election for even just an hour, you've had ten thousand hours of man power lost. In 2015, the estimated value of an hour of volunteered time is $23.56 per hour. So $235,600 was potentially lost from one hour of protesting. Except these protests didn't just last an hour, everyone went out for milkshakes and then went home. Let's say these protests lasted five hours with ten thousand people. That's $1,178,000 in lost volunteer time.
Now let's just say that these protests have been happening in around the same strength every night since election day. Yeah. Is it sinking in now? That's $12,958,000 in lost volunteer time. That's not including damages caused by the violent protesters. That doesn't even count the amount of time and money it cost the local Police Departments for manpower and equipment.
So, right now it's just a number. But what exactly can we do with $12,958,000 in terms of charity? We could house 518 homeless people for a year. According to this model for food bank costs, we could keep 29 food banks running for a year. We could put up 647 women in shelters per year. I'm hardly a professional researcher, but it's really not that hard to find ways to devote your time and money.
I'd like to close this article with one thought for you protesters. If you really want to see things change in this country. If you really want to see Trump fail in office. Then stop looking towards the government to solve these issues. Make them obsolete. Get out there. Volunteer. Donate. Benjamin Franklin started an organization in 1727 called the Leather Apron Club(AKA The Junto).
It was designed to be a group that would get together and think of ways to better their communities without the use of government. Perhaps it's time for another Leather Apron Club. Get together. Discuss strategies to better your communities sans government. You'll find it to be much more rewarding than telling someone else to fix these problems for you.
Just for good measure, here's a couple of links to Volunteer and Charity Directories to give your time or money to. Do some research, find out which one is working on what's important to you and give what you can. Let's make bettering our communities a part of our culture. I think we're all tired of government being such a big part of it.
Volunteer Directories(If you need more, Google Search Volunteer/Charity Directories):