David Shuey
3 min readFeb 23, 2017


That’s funny, because this article actually omits the statistical basis — and only link — within the NY Times article, “Are Liberals Helping Trump?” This was the sole evidence-based link within that article:


Social movements are critical agents of change that vary greatly in both tactics and popular support. Prior work shows that extreme protest tactics — actions that are highly counter-normative, disruptive, or harmful to others, including inflammatory rhetoric, blocking traffic, and damaging property — are effective for gaining publicity. However, we find across three experiments that extreme protest tactics decreased popular support for a given cause because they reduced feelings of identification with the movement. Though this effect obtained in tests of popular responses to extreme tactics used by animal rights, Black Lives Matter, and anti-Trump protests (Studies 1–3), we found that self-identified political activists were willing to use extreme tactics because they believed them to be effective for recruiting popular support (Studies 4a & 4b). The activist’s dilemma — wherein tactics that raise awareness also tend to reduce popular support — highlights a key challenge faced by social movements struggling to affect progressive change.

Or as the NY Times wrote citing the above research, “One facet of recent political life has been large-scale protests against Mr. Trump. They have been largely peaceful, but when there is violence, even on the fringes, it tends to reduce popular support for them, Professor Haidt said, citing recent research. And for many Trump voters, even peaceful protests are unsettling.”

That’s the point. Tactics like those of Black Lives Matter garner attention, but don’t necessarily convince people. They may even helped deliver us to a Trump presidency. I saw this happening a mile (and many months) away; but few people listened. I was silently horrified.

Still, it’s the same: More Trump supporters were beaten up than marginalized populations post-election, but you wouldn’t know that from most pockets of social media. The current arguments of the existence of racial bias by police is highly flawed. Perhaps some people in the center recognize that always focusing on “injustice” of a few rather than the economic injustice EVERYONE faces is problematic. So they got hoodwinked by Trump.

But don’t tell progressives that. They’re willing to double down on tactics involving identity politics. They’ll forget about class. As a progressive myself, I find this highly disconcerting. Because it’s a losing strategy.

Read more here:


When Bernie Sanders is called a White Supremacist, as The Atlantic reported recently, you know that some on the left has “jumped the shark,” i.e. lost credibility or the ability to articulate an intelligent argument. And it helped bolster Trump’s win, in my opinion. Fact: A pre-Florida primary poll showed twice as many Republicans said it made them more likely (22%) rather than less likely (11%) to support Trump after confrontations and protests shut down Trump’s Chicago rally. Bravo to those “shut ’em down” tactics! A stronger majority of Americans in 2016 feel there’s too many people who are easily offended by language others use, 59% to 39%. A poll in 2011 showed 79% of American Adults see political correctness as a serious problem in America. In short: PC and righteousness isn’t helping your social justice agenda, folks.Z

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David Shuey

Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.