Large numbers of Americans who aren’t happy with the election of Donald Trump have clamoring, whining – and protesting – over it.
The first five days after the billionaire’s monumental victory were chock full of protests in big cities across America.
Some of the protests were violent, most notably in Portland, Oregon.
On Thursday night, a few members of an angry crowd vandalized 19 cars at a dealership before heading to a different part of town to smash the windows of several businesses. According to USA Today, demonstrators met with an anarchist group, after which they vandalized buildings, kicked cars and knocked out power.
Portland police said the crowd threw objects at officers, who responded by pushing the crowd back. Police then used flash-bang devices, pepper spray, rubber projectiles and tear gas to force the crowd to disperse. Police made at least 26 arrests.
Jeff Roorda, a retired St. Louis-area police chief and former Missouri state representative, can only shake his head at the whole situation.
“It’s a shame that we’ve come to the point in our nation where this is how we respond to peaceful elections, with violent protests,” Roorda told WND in an interview. “But law enforcement’s getting better and better at handling these civil uprisings in the post-Ferguson era.”
On Saturday, according to CNN, Portland protesters threw bottles and projectiles, including road flares, at police and attacked a film crew. A man was shot during a protest march, and police arrested 71 people that day.
In Indianapolis on Saturday, protesters injured two police officers with rocks, and police arrested seven people.
As late as Sunday, there were more demonstrations, although they were mostly peaceful, in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Oakland and San Francisco, among other places.
President-elect Trump initially tweeted: “professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!” However, he subsequently changed his tone, later tweeting:”Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!”
Roorda, author of “The War on Police: How the Ferguson Effect is Making America Unsafe,” thinks Trump has handled the protests well to this point.
“I think the way he’s reacted so far – asking his supporters not to antagonize things makes him look very presidential,” the former officer said. “This is a man that didn’t always look presidential on the campaign trail but has looked very presidential since winning the election.”
Roorda agrees with Trump’s characterization of the demonstrators as “professional protesters.”
“Unfortunately it seems like there’s an awful lot of people in this country who have a lot of free time,” Roorda noted. “For the last two and a half years, I look at the TV set from city to city across the nation where there’s been anti-police protests, usually violent, and I think, ‘Don’t the folks who are engaged in these protests have jobs?’
“But then if you look really close, you can see a lot of the same faces. I mean, there’s just this cadre of professional protesters, and no doubt being funded by some deep pockets on the far fringes of liberalism that are frequent flyers at these protests in different cities.”
Indeed, some have claimed professional paid protesters are being bused into Chicago. And several Craigslist ads have popped up online across Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other major cities offering up to $1,500 a week for people to engage in anti-Trump protests.
In Los Angeles, hundreds of protesters blocked a busy highway last week, bringing traffic to a standstill. Those protests were mostly peaceful, but some people threw bottles, launched fireworks and vandalized property, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Protesters also shut down parts of interstate highways in Denver and Minneapolis.
In San Francisco, high school students waved Mexican flags and rainbow banners as they marched and chanted, “Not my president!” Across the bay in Oakland, demonstrators got into shoving matches with police.
There were also marches and protests, mostly peaceful, in Springfield, Massachusetts; Columbus, Ohio; Madison, Wisconsin; Milwaukee; Baltimore; and Louisville.
Roorda pointed out the double standard inherent in media coverage of the protests.
“It strikes me as so startling that there was this media uproar over Donald Trump’s rather flippant comment during the third debate about how maybe he might not be willing to accept the outcome of the election. And that was just him sort of musing in response to an unanticipated question, and the media went nuts over that, completely berserk over it.
“And now the fact that we’ve got people violently rioting in the streets over the peaceful transfer of power, and they’re not responding in the same way, the media, that is. It seems pretty hypocritical to me.”
Roorda offered a simple solution for all the angry anti-Trump protesters: Go vote next time. Don’t stay home as one high-profile police critic did.
“That is no way to make your point about the direction that our government should be headed,” Roorda insisted. “The voters that prevailed lobbied their complaint at the ballot box, which is where it belongs, not in violent protests across our nation.”