Passive Protest

Ideas and Issues Personal Writings

Gulf Shores    Reading about the plans of protestors strategizing about the coming Democratic Convention in Denver is pretty depressing.   The Wall Street Journal is hardly the best source for mainlining such information perhaps, but reading the comments of various organizers made one think more of party planners desperate to entertain bored debutantes than people trying to move America in some direction or another.

    The target seems not to even be the Democratic delegates themselves but more likely whoever double-clicks on You-tube or the odd chance that they will have 15 seconds of footage behind a talking head on TV.  The image softening, big puppets, huge displays, seem all about masking the fact that there are no people behind the false front in this protest city.  The theory and practice of “passive protest” seems to be evolving in front of us.

    Perhaps the point is that there is little or no reason to go to Denver to protest the Democrats at their convention.  The American public seems increasingly to be hoping and praying that Democrats in general and Obama in particular can pull us out of our economic doldrums and keep us from being embarrassed much more around the world.  

    All of this seems less about protest than a parody of protest for the purpose of publicity and the benefit of the press.  We have moved to a low spot when a quote from an anarchist almost makes more sense than what the protest organizers are saying.

    Maybe Minneapolis will be less passive and more protest.  If not, we ought stop pretending and call this summer stock or something, but not protest.