John Andrist: Stop Throwing Tantrums

This week I’m asking you to think about the word tantrum.

Remember? We used tantrums when we were kids, and most of us saw them repeated in the process of rearing our own children.

Tantrums aren’t based on logic and reasoning. They are simply rants aimed at something we don’t like. Today’s protests are mostly rants and tantrums.

When written into our Bill of Rights our founders talked about the right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances”.

They put it there as a personal protection, perhaps not even imagining an age of professional protesters using it as a tantrum tool.

Few protests today seek a redress of grievances or even a change in public policy. They are simply tantrums. They create little change, while fomenting a lot of violence.

Hundreds of protestors in Minneapolis and in many other cities blocked highway traffic in the post election days last week.

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Few protests today seek a redress of grievances or even a change in public policy. They are simply tantrums. They create little change, while fomenting a lot of violence.[/mks_pullquote]

They wouldn’t have been there if their candidate had won. They were simply angry at the result.

In Fargo they had a much more peaceful gathering, but again, it was not about the law and its administration. They were “grieving protests” according to media reports.

In the long months of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest the judge who heard the tribe’s case for an injunction said there was no credible evidence that the law was circumvented, nor that any shortcuts were taken. It has all simply been a Facebook orchestrated rant.

Even people in high places, including the Minneapolis Tribune, have thrown an editorial tantrum, totally ignoring details of the law,  and placing any responsibility for violence on the police and the governor. They are responsible? Give us a break!

State government and law enforcement only got involved out of intent to avert violence. They have shown remarkable, if not perfect, response and composure.

And it has cost North Dakota taxpayers some $10 million to try preserve the peace.

The Standing Rock Tribal Council, which started it all, has been irresponsible from the get-go, because of their attempt to do an end run around the law and the process — in which they refused to participate.

For what purpose? Just for an opportunity to rant and to get their tribal chairman into the oval office?

By the time the protesters finally pack it in the reservation will be getting their fresh water some 90 miles downstream from the pipeline crossing point, which they have portrayed as “right next door”.

How many dozens of protests in America — far from peaceful — have resulted from police killings of blacks? Have there been any protests for police taking out a white person?

Even more important, have there been police killings of anyone, black or white, who was obeying police commands?

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]It’s not a perfect world, but we can get a whole lot closer by constructively trying to make changes for the things we covet, than we can from simply throwing tantrums when we don’t get our own way.[/mks_pullquote]

It’s not a perfect world, but we can get a whole lot closer by constructively trying to make changes for the things we covet, than we can from simply throwing tantrums when we don’t get our own way.

One of the great traditions in America is our history of peaceful transition in our chain of command.

They say it didn’t always exist. It was started by a somewhat brash upstart Democrat president named Harry Truman.

When President Eisenhower was elected in 1952, Truman invited him to join him for a helpful briefing, even though the two hated each other. Truman saw the need to explain from an insiders perspective how things work.

Truman understood, because he had been thrust into the presidency by the death of President Roosevelt at a crucial point in World War II, and because Roosevelt didn’t like him, he provided no preparation help. He wouldn’t even include Truman in cabinet meetings.

Truman wanted to change  that. And every president since has assisted his successor.

In one of his finest moments President Obama observed that tradition by opening the White House doors to President elect Trump.

Truman was perhaps one of our worst prepared presidents, but became a pretty remarkable leader by following his own gut.

Do we dare to hope Trump can do the same? Or should we just keep throwing tantrums?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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