Young Democrats of Harford County

For Democrats of all ages and other like-minded folks in Harford County, Maryland.

Posts Tagged ‘Protest’

To Protest, or Not to Protest?

Posted by piperj3cub on September 30, 2007

Today I attended a “protest” of sorts for the first time, and am feeling somewhat awkward about the experience.  Delegate Pat McDonough representing district 7 has made the cornerstone of his legislative agenda a series of actions that would in effect make English the official language of Maryland.  As part of his agenda, he has been strongly outspoken about the deleterious impact of illegal immigration.  The problem however is that motions towards limiting translation services to immigrants (the practical impact of McDonough’s legislation) hurts not just illegal immigrants, but legal immigrants as well.  This is a thinly veiled maneuver designed to limit the diversity of Maryland and the United States as a whole; it is imperative that we as progressive Democrats work against people that promote these perspectives.  We must all always remember that diversity is the way forward for our state and our country.  We must learn from history and the example of other cultures and countries.  We must emulate what they do right, and avoid what they do wrong.  Failure to learn from our own history and the histories of other nations and cultures is why the United States is embattled in Iraq and other places around the world. 


The awkward aspect of the protest, from my perspective, is the question of whether or not a protest is an effective way to communicate one’s perspective or position on an issue. If I were ever to run for office, would the fact that I have been involved in a protest or demonstration hurt my chances election?  Would mainstream Democrats and Democratic Party officials shy away from a candidate that has been seen on local television news channels demonstrating with members of the opposition Green Party?  I would like to think that the message I was trying to convey by being part of the protest was at least as important as other considerations; but the more I consider other implications, the more I question the action.  There are MANY ways to speak out against a candidate or a candidate’s position on an issue.  We can do so by promoting alternate candidates, by supporting the party opposed to that candidate, by writing letters to the editor, and of course by blogging.  Those that use these methods are every bit as committed to the issue as is anybody that demonstrates, and it must never be said that somebody is not effectively working against an issue or candidate simply because they chose some venue other them a public demonstration to voice their discontent.


So, will demonstrations and protests continue to be a personal avenue for expression of discontent to a politician or issue?  I most certainly will attend rallies in support of those that I stand behind, is it much different to stand out in opposition to those we do not?  This is a question I will grapple with over time.  My question to you: Are demonstrations and protests functional or counter-productive?  Does being seen demonstrating against an issue or a politician damage one’s political aspirations?  Is it more effective to utilize print venues (newspaper, etc) to voice discontent?  Is there a place for planned demonstrations and protests sponsored by the Democratic Party, or would this backfire and damage our chances of effectively implementing a progressive agenda?


Democrats truly do work for the good of all, let’s all do our best to spread that word using whatever method will effectively get it across!


Posted in Democratic Party, Harford County Green Party, Protest | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »