Please note, in this post I will discuss the broad concept of protesting the political party decisions as it applies to both parties in the 2016 presidential campaign. Future readers, note that the Republican Party was split over the selection of Donald Trump and the Democratic Party was split over the selection of Hillary Clinton. This post will address both of these issues neutrally, this isn’t ‘taking sides’ or ‘sour grapes’ as some might call it.
In order to have a protest, there must be a minimum of two things: protesters and a responsive party.
Protesters, obviously, are those who stand together, united, for or against, a common cause. This group can consist of almost anyone, especially in our country, where “We, the People” have the right to peaceably protest.
In terms of effecting change, however, it is also important to have someone who will listen and can act in some manner upon the object of the protest; a responsive party.
Unfortunately, in the case of a national political convention, the parties most qualified to act upon the protest of their decisions are those same political parties. Herein lies the problem.
The protest of a political convention’s results would be heard by the media, who are so politically polarized that they couldn’t say anything for fear of a backlash from “the other side,” and the government.
There are several problems with the concept of protesting the government to the government. One is that politicians tend to claim membership to a political party and, therefore, are faced with a conflict of interest when asked to protest said party.
Another is that “We, the People” have allowed politicians to pursue a lifelong career in politics. This means that standing with the protesters and demanding change would be political suicide and, for a career politician, would lead to an early end of said career.
A third is that politicians and governments tend to do what their leaders tell them to do. This would be simple enough, had “We, the People” demanded they remain our leaders and prevented them from bowing to any other interest aside from ours. The reality is that they would first appeal to their leaders in their political parties. Then they would then appeal to those who lead their policy making decisions, namely financial contributors.
Appealing to the opposite party would also fail. The opposing party doesn’t really have any concern to ensuring the opponent was being just and fair, that typically leads voters to stray from the party seen as “unjust” or “unfair”. But it’s especially important to keep this in mind: during this election both parties were facing scrutiny, from outside the party and from within, for their decisions of candidates, so neither of them had a “high ground” to stand from in addressing any protest about corruption.
So, yes, we could have protested the results, but nobody would have been receptive to our calls.