In the “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain” department, Portland TV station KGW has found a fair number of folks arrested at anti-Trump protests in their fair city didn’t vote in this year’s election:
KGW compiled a list of the 112 people arrested by the Portland Police Bureau during recent protests. Those names and ages, provided by police, were then compared to state voter logs by Multnomah County Elections officials.
Records show 39 of the protesters arrested were registered in the state but didn’t return a ballot for the November 8 election. Thirty-five of the demonstrators taken into custody weren’t registered to vote in Oregon [Kyle Iboshi, “Most of Arrested Portland Protestors Are from Oregon,” KGW-TV Portland, 2016.11.15].
A law-abiding Portland protester points out that arrestees may not be a representative sample of anti-Trump protesters. I’ll agree that hooligans who join any crowd just to smash windows and cause other trouble lack the civic spirit that should correlate with regular voting. Nonetheless, people who didn’t vote shouldn’t smash windows or shout “Not my President!” And if non-voters do show up for the protests, organizers should make sure to get those people registered and then call them multiple times in 2018 to remind them to vote.
The 1.4 million people who constitute Hillary Clinton’s current margin over Donald Trump in the legally irrelevant popular vote could consider marching on Washington, D.C., on January 20. Those 1.4 million still have no legal or moral claim to stand in the way of the peaceful, Constitutional transition of power, but they might provide our incoming President a powerful reminder that only 28% of voting-eligible Americans cast ballots for him.
About 132 million Americans cast Presidential ballots. That’s about 41% of the population of the United States. For every two Americans who can complain, there are three who can’t.