Pro­gres­sives made a big mis­take

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Charles Rigler, Baltimore

Peo­ple have ev­ery right to peace­fully protest the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump or any­one else. How­ever, they aren’t do­ing them­selves any fa­vors for two rea­sons (“Anti-Trump protests con­tinue in NewYork, LA, Philadel­phia,” Nov. 14):

First, protest­ing Mr. Trump be­fore he even takes of­fice di­lutes the power of protest. If and when Pres­i­dent Trump does some­thing which of­fends them enough to take to the streets again, it’ll just ap­pear to be “busi­ness as usual.”

Se­condly, it calls to at­ten­tion their Achilles’ heel, which is that the pro­test­ers (and pro­gres­sives in gen­eral) be­lieve in in­creas­ing fed­eral power. But ap­par­ently, they never con­sid­ered that power could end up in the hands of some­one they didn’t like. And in that, there’s no hope for vic­tory. Should Pres­i­dent Trump turn out to be a good or even a not-so-bad pres­i­dent, then their protests will seem silly and pre­ma­ture. If, how­ever, Pres­i­dent Trump wields the reins of power to the detri­ment of the coun­try and the world, it won’t prove them right. To the con­trary, it’ll prove their sup­port of an all-pow­er­ful fed­eral gov­ern­ment was wrong.

The prob­lem we all face isn’t in who is pres­i­dent, but rather in the prece­dent they helped set which has im­bued the of­fice with far too much power.

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