What's the Best Way to Protest Trump?

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

A reader makes some key distinctions in our discussion so far:

Protesters are a heterogenous group. There are silent protesters who just stand there holding a cloth banner, there are protesters who chant slogans, and there are protesters who are easily baited by the Trump crowd. The silent protesters are not disruptive within the meeting hall, though they may block the view of the stage of a few people. The protesters who chant slogans are fine outside the building. It’s the protesters who get into shouting matches who play into the hands of Trump.

Trump needs to tell the crowd they are victims of the kinds of people that are protesting—younger people and black people, in the case of St. Louis. He likes to promote the “generation gap” by reviling the protesters as lazy kids—shades of the 1960s.

I would like to see some clergy in collars, elderly black people, and white older adults, particularly women, providing silent non-violent protest and leading by example. The uncommitted voter is not likely to look fondly on a candidacy that is fine with abusing grannies.

The Muslim woman in the above video who stood up in silent protest at a Trump rally isn’t exactly young, and she was still forcibly removed by security and jeered by the crowd, with no words of appeasement from Trump. If you know of any similar examples of peaceful protest, please send them my way.