This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



January 2005


Catching up on email here at work while having C-Span on in the background. Wasn’t going to make any more comments for the moment, but…

They showed what looked like an ANSWER related protester group chanting over and over again:

Hey Bush, we know you… your daddy was a killer too!
Hey Bush, we know you… your daddy was a killer too!
Hey Bush, we know you… your daddy was a killer too!
Hey Bush, we know you… your daddy was a killer too!
Hey Bush, we know you… your daddy was a killer too!

OK, just a message to these type of guys. It is folks like you that caused the re-election of W. (Or at least helped it.)

You have every right to protest. You have every right to protest in rude and distasteful ways. I think it is wrong that they have been doing this “designated free speech zones” thing to restrict protesters to certain areas. But what you are doing with such hateful chants is counter-productive, and only makes YOU look bad, not W or the Republicans.

There are many ways to show your displeasure with the choices W made, your dissapointment with the election results, and probably even your lack of respect for the man. But there are ways that are civil and constructive, and there are ways that do nothing but make you look like radical baffoons. If you actually have any desire to “win hearts and minds” and get more people to move closer to your viewpoints, rather than just getting yourselves on TV and making fools of yourselves, you might try some other tactics.

Ad hominim attacks, not just on the man, but on his father (who I at least think was a much better president) just seems desperate and petty and will turn away more people than they convince. As it is you are chanting only to those who already agree with you. What signs or chants should you have used instead? I don’t know, I’m not a chant writer. But surely you could have come up with something that makes you look better than that.

Maybe the folks at the “Counter-Inaugural” did better and had some rational speeches and expressed their discontent in productive and convincing ways. I don’t know, I didn’t watch it. Perhaps I will watch some of it off C-Span’s website later. I hope it was. Cause the folks that C-Span showed just then during the motorcade were just sad. Of course, the folks who usually make TV are usually the most outrageous ones. The protesters who are indeed reasonable rarely get covered. Which is of course part of the reason people are outrageous. It does get them on TV. But it does not help their cause.

7 comments to Protesters

  • Brandy

    Like your ways to show displeadure with the administration? Ignore it and just say quitetly I don’t like it in the dark when you think that no one is listening? OR freak out and jump about at home, but not in public…don’t let anyone SEE that you have an opinion.

    And it’s hard to be reasonable, when you oppose something so violently. Sometimes you just want to break something or hit something, or shout insults at someone who you know is safely ensconced behind the bullet proof glass feeling smug because he tricked the gullible “good people or America”. Led them like mindless sheep.

    I would have been one of those people with a sign – probably a blow up of the how can so many people be so dumb magazine cover – and while I might not have thrown rotten tomatoes at the big screens, I would not have been any less disgusted than those who might.

    I do not however, think there is much danger of turning away those who oppose the great monkey boy (admit it, he looks like one) because there aren’t reallyany people on the fence on this one. So while they might not approve of their comrade’s actions, I doubt you’re gonna turn a democrat a republican because a bunch of liberals are chanting something somewhat contriversial.

  • Abulsme

    Well, I generally prefer to observe than participate. (Insert joke here.)

    As for being hard to be reasonable when you oppose something that violently… well, understood, but people should also understand that when they take that kind of attitude, they lose any possible high ground, and stop looking like reasonable people you can work with, and then become just the shrill screaming people in the corner that nobody pays attention to, and actually tries to avoid.

    Now, the “How Can X Million People Be So Dumb” cover was brilliant and funny. Exactly the sort of poster that would be appropriate. Perhaps not effective at winning people over, since it insults people who voted for W, but still funny and appropriate. Not like “your daddy was a killer too”.

    As for not convincing people… the last two elections were close. They were not decided by the people who lean one way or the other strongly. They were decided by that very small sliver of people who really are on the fence, and could go either way depending on the details of the issues of the day, and their impressions of the individuals running. You want to win, that’s who you need to convince, not the people who already agree with you. And yes, those people can be turned away by this sort of thing… maybe not one chant, but the kind of behaviour in general.

  • Brandy

    Um, insulting people who did something really stupid?

    God forbid.

    Again though, you are assumping there were a lot of people on the fence. This was a very black and white election. A great many people had very strong beliefs in this one. It divided the nation, and it has remained divided. That’s not all that likely to change with a chant, or even a moron standing in the background holding up a sign that says “John Kerry eats babies” Both sides have their nitcases, though W’s more than the other due to the fact that he is one.

  • Abulsme

    Not a lot of people on the fence. No. Not many. Less than 2% according to the polls right before the election. But guess what, that is enough to decide the election when it is close.

    The divisions are so stark because the way the primaries are structured in both parties leads to the nomination of people at the extremes, away from the middle in both parties (usually).

    If either party were actually to nominate a true moderate then they would win in a landslide. (Unless both parties did, in which case it would be close again, but matter less, because the candidates would be so similar to each other.) The vast majority of the public is in that purple middle, and would probably really llike someone who represented the best of both parties, and left out the extremism on both sides.

    But as it is, people have to pick one way or another. Most people have little difficulty doing so, even if they don’t REALLY like either side, they can still pick the “lesser of two evils”. But in recent years, they split almost evenly. So that small percentage who have trouble making up their mind (usually because they haven’t been paying attention or thinking about it too much) end up deciding the results.

  • Brandy

    Yeah, but what does it matter now anyway?
    Assuming that there is still a need for an election post Bush, he’s out anyway.

    And as demonstrated, majority doesn’t always win, so can’t necessarially be the deciding factor.

  • Abulsme

    It matters for the congressional elections in 2006, and for the 2008 presidential elections… Bush won’t be running, but most likely someone else who shares his views will be… (Unless he screws up so bad even his own party rejects those viewpoints… )

    The majority national popular vote doesn’t matter, but it does state by state. Point is, in the long run you win by convincing people you are right. Not necessarily “converting” those already convinced (although if you can, more power to you), but by convincing the people who are on the edge, or new people who are just thinking about it for the first time.

    Yes, shoring up your base and exciting them and raising money from them and making sure they come out to vote IS important too… but when the overall electorate is so closely divided, you gotta convince the people in the middle.

  • Brandy

    What views are those? “I am the hand of the Lord”?

    That is more psychopathic than a true political base.

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