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via The Voting Rights Act turns 50 today. Here are three trends in minority voting you should know about. – The Washington Post.

Do violent protests win votes for your cause?

Monkey Cage blogged on a very timely study on the impact of violent and nonviolent protests on voting behaviour. Non-violent protest in the 60s enticed sympathy and increased voter support for the Democratic Party in the 1964, 1968 to 1972 presidential elections:

Black-led nonviolent protests… exhibit a statistically significant positive relationship with county-level Democratic vote-share in the same period.

This is not surprising because nonviolent protest acknowledge fidelity to law and democratic equality. No one likes to be bullied and one of the purposes of the secret ballot is to prevent voters from being bullied because no one knows how you voted.

Indeed, there is a long history of anonymous pamphleteering, which has evolved into anonymous trolling as a way of people expressing their political views without facing backlash from both the majority and a vindictive minority.

In a democracy, it’s up to me to persuade you to change your mind – that what you took for granted for so long is not so. That’s how liberal democracies work: by trying to persuade each other and voting.

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Violent protests had the exact opposite effect to peaceful protests on Democratic Party voting shares in the 1964, 1968 in 1972 presidential elections. There was a law and order backlash among voters against what were relatively widespread rioting and civil disorder:

…black-led protests in which some violence occurs are associated with a statistically significant decline in Democratic vote-share in the 1964, 1968 and 1972 presidential elections.

This is a roundabout way of saying that a Republican won the 1968 election on a law and order platform, not a Democrat on a peace platform. The country was convinced, including Liberal Democrats, that law and order had broken down and that the Democratic Party could not restore law and order.

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In the 1968 presidential election, there is a third party candidate, George Wallace, who won won almost ten million popular votes and 46 electoral votes, including in the electoral college on an even harsher law and order platform than Nixon.

Wallace was a racist Southern Democrat the Democratic Party would prefer us to forget and a nasty political opportunist to boot. His political rhetoric included the only words four letter words the protesters didn’t know was work and soap.

As I recall warmed over Marxism, the idea of violent protests is to provoke a law and order backlash, initially with popular support of the working class. The resulting police repression will overreach and cause the proletariat to breakthrough their false consciousness to see that capitalists for whom they are and rise up to overthrow them.

Rise up ye workers, rise up for you have nothing to lose but your chains. These days that call to the barricades would have to be rise up ye workers, rise up for you have nothing to lose what your smart phone and air points.

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