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2/02/2017 9:43 am  #1

How Social Networks Empowered Mass Protests Against

The Alt-Majority: How Social Networks Empowered Mass Protests Against Trump

The presidency of Donald J. Trump has been noteworthy for its speed. In his first week in office, as the president’s aides won’t tire of reminding us, Mr. Trump has already put in motion plans to do much of what he promised to do while campaigning.

But it’s not just the politician who is moving fast. It’s the population, too.

In a matter of hours on Saturday, thousands rushed to the nation’s airports, beckoned by tweets. The flash protests in response to Mr. Trump’s immigration ban, which continued to grow in many cities on Sunday, were as organized as they were instantaneous. Dispatched online, the protesters knew where to go, and they knew what to do once they arrived: to command the story by making a scene.

Mr. Trump feeds off media attention. Throughout the campaign, the bigger a spectacle he created, the larger he loomed in the public consciousness. What has been remarkable during the last two weekends is how thoroughly Mr. Trump’s own media personage was blotted out by scenes of protesters.

In a brief appearance on Saturday, the president assured the nation that his immigrant ban was “working out very nicely — you see it in the airports.” But the pictures and videos flooding across our social streams put the lie to Mr. Trump’s breezy pronouncements. Things at the airports weren’t working out very nicely; you could see it right there on Instagram.

A similar story unfolded the weekend before. In his inaugural address Mr. Trump claimed the mantle of popular will. The next day, a far larger illustration of popular will was on display at marches across the country. The people who gathered for the women’s march hijacked the media narrative.

Even for those who did not assemble on either weekend, the pictures carried special power. Amplified on social media and echoing across every TV network, they suggested something larger afoot, something democracy-defining. “Something’s happening out there,” Ana Navarro, the Republican never-Trumper and television pundit, declared on Twitter.

Something sure is. We’re witnessing the stirrings of a national popular movement aimed at defeating the policies of Mr. Trump. It is a movement without official leaders. In fact, to a noteworthy degree, the formal apparatus of the Democratic Party has been nearly absent from the uprisings. Unlike the Tea Party and the white-supremacist “alt-right,” the new movement has no name. Call it the alt-left, or, if you want to really drive Mr. Trump up the wall, the alt-majority.

We live in a time in which decent and otherwise sensible people are surrendering too easily to the hectoring of morons or extremists. 

2/02/2017 9:47 am  #2

Re: How Social Networks Empowered Mass Protests Against

Words have consequences. 

"Do not confuse motion and progress, A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress"

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