Tag Archives: politics

Why anti-Trump protests make me cringe

I rarely get political on this website, but the current situation calls for it.

Over the past couple days, I’ve been privy to footage of and invitations to an array of anti-Trump protests attacking the man on an array of subjects – from his derogatory comments towards women to his stance on Planned Parenthood, from his ill-fated claims about a rigged election to the supposed havoc he will wreak upon millions of undocumented immigrants.

Activism is great. It was a leading force during the Vietnam War of the 60s and 70s, a conflict in which America’s participation was fueled by an anti-Communist agenda that frankly ended up doing more harm than good. Throughout the history of the United States and other organized nations alike, motivated protesters have been able to bring about change that may not have otherwise occurred were it not for their commitment to a cause.

In fact, just a few days ago, Miami journalist Janette Vazquez talked to some of the participants of women’s marches fueled by the purportedly mysoginistic Trump.

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Source: WJLA / Google Images.

“They wanted to show not only Trump but the local government that they are serious about the issues that they think are basic human rights, like the right to their own bodies, universal healthcare [and] equal pay.”

That’s fine and dandy. But not all is well in the present climate of Trump bashing.

In the weeks prior to the election as well as immediately and continually thereafter, generalized anti-Trump protests filled up central business districts throughout the U.S. and shouted things like “not my President!”

That, my friends, is a proclamation tantamount to an outright rejection  of the democratic process.

Frankly, I’m disgusted. I’m also concerned that the fire in these protesters’ souls is misdirected.

 

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Source: NBC News / Google Images

Have these protests helped us move forward as a people? Have they allowed us to inch closer to – quite frankly – Trump’s own slogan of making America great again? Have they united us the way three of America’s greatest leaders- George Washington, FDR and Abraham Lincoln – would have wanted them to?

No, they haven’t. Consider Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory when he ran for re-election in 1984 against Democrat Walter Mondale – a whopping 525 electoral votes versus a paltry 13.

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Source: Return To the 80s / WordPress

Now that’s a united nation. A nation committed to supporting a President, not just a person. Though the late Reagan was a well-respected individual, many people, both in retrospect and in his time, criticized him on various grounds. Reagan himself admitted to serious blunders during his administration, particularly regarding murky dealings with armed forces in Nicaragua. Someone even tried to assassinate the man!

But the point is that by throwing their support behind their President and effectively foregoing the importance of party lines and personality wars, the people prioritized the need to rally together in order to get things done.

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Source: JustCollecting / Shepard Fairey

Many Obama critics say the first black president rode in to the White House on a campaign of widespread change in all corners of society that he failed to deliver on.

Do we want Trump to suffer the same fate as well? To ride in to the White House on a disgusting campaign full of insults and bold, illegitimate claims and come out the other side crippled by a public who failed to unite behind him?

No, of course not. The man is our President. In a deeply divided election completely unlike Reagan’s re-election in 1984, he ultimately won.

But instead of continuing to dig the knife deeper in the cut between the two halves, let’s forego the politics and the emotions and re-purpose that energy towards making America great again.

I urge protesters to cease lambasting the democratic process by yelling “Not my President!” as they simultaneously exercise their democratic right to parade down the streets, stopping traffic and the natural flow of a Downtown district.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our President had had a more sensible head on his shoulders during his campaign? If perhaps he’d been more eloquent and less confrontational? Sure, but Trump was a shrewd businessman first who made much of his money by being a shark and treating people less than honorably – as businessmen are known to do.

So quit dreaming and start accepting.

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Source: Wikimedia Commons / White House

This man is no longer Donald Trump. He is the 45th President of the United States, and anyone who has filled that office for the past 241 years has been placed there as a result of the democratic process that has made this county a superpower. Regardless of who he is, he deserves the support of a united people perpetually seeking to make their country better. It’s not the Trump, nor the Obama, nor the Clinton way.

It’s the American way.

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Independent journalists struggle to find revenue

Despite her best efforts, former journalist Maria Padilla struggled to monetize OrlandoLatino.com, a news website about the Puerto Rican community in Orlando that shutdown in August 2015 after approximately 6 years.

“Monetizing the blog is a selling job, which as a journalist I’m not completely comfortable with,” Padilla said. “Call me old school. So I need to earn a living doing something else.”

Padilla’s struggle to cope with the demands of a changing media landscape is not unique. Journalists across Florida have dealt with its impacts in various ways.

Frank Torres, an Army military veteran who became involved in veterans’ affairs and political analysis after being discharged, runs a website called The Orlando Political Observer that he claims attracts several thousand readers a day. Although he did not provide exact figures, Torres says his ad revenue greatly from election to non-election season as advertisers take note of his increased traffic.

“I’m not wealthy,” Torres confessed. “I wish I could tell you I was, it is definitely a struggle. I can echo [Padilla’s] challenges in trying to monetize the blog.”

Torres attributes his success to being able to maintain multiple sources of revenue. Besides his site and the advertising revenue it brings, Torres’ work is syndicated across multiple outlets, which he refused to name over web traffic concerns. Additionally, Torres has monetized his speaking gigs, varying his price based on travel expenses and the nature of the engagement.

“Journalists have to do everything,” Torres explained, “They have to market, sell … blog, take video, produce quality audio. It’s a tricky operation to get going.”

Padilla has a different take on the situation.

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“I think it might be easier to monetize the blog if you set up a certain apparatus,” she explained. “You have somebody else who takes care of that end of it, the money-generating end of it.”

Torres also feels that up-and-coming journalists are not being taught the right skills by “old-school” journalism school faculty that spend more time on writing skills and less so on the concepts of syndication and entrepreneurship.

Victor Hernandez, director of media innovation for media outlet Banjo, agrees with Torres’ assessment.

“Very few [schools] are hitting the nail on the head,” Victor explained as he got ready to helm a workshop for Society of Professional Journalists students. “It doesn’t mean that over time, that won’t begin to swing in the right direction, but not enough truly are able to embrace this or are even anywhere.”

The University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Media, Communication and Information, for example, does not currently require student journalists to take entrepreneurship courses according to a representative from the school.

Ashley Cisneros, a former Florida journalist whose job was cut during the 2008 recession, started her own digital marketing and advertising agency that helps businesses maximize their reach through social media and content.

“[Companies] need content,” Cisneros explained. “My agency has specific writers on staff [and] my customers use that content – the newsgathering, the writing, the research, all of the things that journalists do. They’re paying for that so that they can meet their goal.”

Though skills overlap, the purpose of an effort like Cisneros’ is still different from that of a site with a purely journalistic goal.

Padilla was recently chosen as one of the Orlando Sentinel’s 100 most influential people in Central Florida.  She is considering re-opening her blog despite her continued financial concerns.

“I still get asked about it all the time … I’m convinced that there is a market,” Padilla said.