The Denome’s Advocate: Democrats, an unruly mob? If only…

By Thomas Denome

Continuing with the American tradition of attempting to paint political opponents as insane and unreasonable, Republicans have a new platform to win the 2018 midterm elections: depicting the Democratic base as an “unruly mob.” President Trump and other Republican leaders have called the Democrats “radical and unhinged” and “too dangerous to govern,” according to the Washington Post.

The Republican justification for this smear lies in recent large-scale protests and coordinated action against conservative politicians around the country, mainly in politically-charged Washington D.C. A crowd of protestors showed up to express their displeasure at Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court, and anti-sexism advocates have confronted a number of conservative politicians while they eat at restaurants.

Yet nothing has changed; as I write this, Kavanaugh is on the Supreme Court and Cruz is still favored to win his Senate election. If Republicans fear electoral backlash for their legislative agenda, they can rest easy; FiveThirtyEight projects they will hold onto at least the Senate, and possibly the House as well after November.

As for the Democrats, their strategies don’t seem to be working too well, despite their strength in numbers. While the polls indicate Kavanaugh’s unpopularity, he’s on the Supreme Court for life or until impeachment. Since protesting isn’t going to get it done, Democrats need a new game plan.

Maybe the president is sending them a message. If Republicans are fearful of an unruly mob, Democrats need to abandon their more moderate approach and try something new, such as a general strike.

In the past, general strikes have brought about mixed results, sometimes resulting in better conditions of concessions to strikers, while other times ending with massive police and military crackdowns in order to restore order. But there’s no denying general strikes can be very effective. A general strike by Icelandic women in 1973 led to immediate concessions, and in only five years, a female president.

The same potential for such a widespread protest of Republican policies exists in America today. It’s all well and good for Democrats to get out the vote for this election. But if they feel their ballots mean nothing — such as in the event Democrats win the popular vote in the House and Senate, but do not win majorities in either chamber — then it is time for more drastic action.