Following Donald Trump’s historic victory, liberals took to the streets to protest the incoming president. However, what may have started out as peaceful demonstrations quickly turned into full riots. When inauguration day came, protests in the nation’s capital turned violent again, leading to hundreds of arrests for felony rioting.
Of course, most of these tactics are not new. Activists from groups like “Black Lives Matter” have been staging protests that disrupt local populations and destroy property for a few years. It seems that the election of Donald Trump has only helped to escalate the tend. But if protesters thought they were furthering their cause, new research has revealed that may not be the case.
A study conducted at the University of Toronto concluded that extreme protest tactics such as blocking traffic, damaging property, and rioting actually reduce popular support for the political movements that employ them.
The study, which was conducted by Professor Matthew Feinberg of the University of Toronto, is entitled “Extreme Protest Tactics Reduce Popular Support For Social Movements,” and suggests that unusual protest tactics such as rioting reduce support for the movements that choose to employ them.
Feinberg claims that he was inspired to study the effects of such forms of protests during his time as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, a time in which he claims he attended many protests himself. Feinberg and his graduate advisor at UCB began to wonder “which tactics would be more successful than others and which tactics could” backfire.
Ironically, the study by the UC Berkeley graduate comes just weeks after massive protests at his alma mater turned violent. In that case, students sought to prevent Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos from giving a speech on campus. Although the protests successfully resulted in the speech being canceled, Yiannopoulos received a massive surge in popularity. Fienberg’s study came to a similar conclusion:
Feinberg set up experiments in which research participants were exposed to videos of the protest tactics of members of animal rights groups, Black Lives Matter, and anti-Trump protesters. Feinberg concluded that the more extreme a protest became, the less likely the participant was to support the movement.
Perhaps not surprisingly, people don’t respond well to disruptions in their lives or the destruction of their property. Although liberals think they’re fighting for their cause, this evidence shows they’re actually doing it more damage.
Instead of making a meaningful point, all liberals are really doing is getting an early jump on the President Trump reelection campaign.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]