Do Protests Actually Nudge Us More To The Right?
I think it is telling to see coverage of the NATO meeting in Chicago, or more precisely, to see the protesters outside of the meetings.It takes me back to the heady days of the 60s and 70s when internal protests of the United States in general, and the Vietnam War in particular, colored our nightly news.
Coming from “middle America,” with a family made of “middle American values,” I often looked at the protests with the eyes of my parents. I was a bit too young to get drafted for Vietnam, and it was safe to say that my parents were as much for Nixon to beat Humphrey as I was in our mock 6th grade election.
(Only my uncle ever had the courage to say that Nixon was a crook BEFORE the Watergate years, and only my cousin Amy was for Humphrey in all of the people and relatives and friends I knew…she was in 8th grade then.)
I remember the Democratic Convention riots back in that era, and the feeling of my parents that only conservative values were strong enough of a response to what I believe was fear that the rest of the world inspired in us. The Russians had all but caught up in the visible sciences, and we were still reeling from a Korean Conflict, the Bay Of Pigs, The Cuban Missle Crisis, and the assassination of The Kennedy boys.
That was strong negative karma, and for most of my family, only conservative middle class values could stand up to the progression of anarchy.
So watching protesters on the Nightly News only threw us more to the right on the political spectrum.
Sometimes I wonder if it still does? It is a theory…probably not a very original one…but I wonder if protesters on television serve to push a big section of the masses more conservative?
It would be nice to think that we all applaud our constitutional rights to protest and free speech, but is there a backlash to actually using them?
No answers here...just questions...