Editorials

Professional protesting could be right up this guy’s alley

I’ll confess that I once joined a group of dissidents protesting the Vietnam War.

I think we held hands and sang John Lennon songs. Took about an hour.

It was my only experience with protesting, except maybe for the “AuH2o” bumper sticker on my car during my misguided Goldwater years.

My activism didn’t last long. After I became a bona fide journalist, I put personal politics aside. When my bride delivered Carter-Mondale flyers in our Milwaukee neighborhood, I dutifully accompanied her but did not touch a single flyer.

But here I am today, a retired newspaper guy with a lot of time on my hands and once again free to protest – as witness my current bumper sticker: “Make America Read Again.” Pretty powerful stuff, hey?

The world has come a long way since the Sixties and I understand there is now a market for professional protesters.

These are people – professionals, if you will – who make good money showing up at town halls across the country and holding up signs and marching and yelling and whatever.

I’m not sure what qualifications you need for professional protesting, but I’m pretty sure I’d be OK.

There is that previous experience, of course, but there is more: I have a lot of free time. I can stand and I can march. I can hold signs. I can shout if it’s required.

I understand there is also a need for illegal voters, but I would prefer to remain legal. All those thousands of people who voted illegally in New Hampshire and the millions in California are going to be sorry once we find them. There will be heck to pay, sure enough.

No, I’ll stick with protesting, especially now that it has become a legitimate profession in the eyes of, you know, people in power.

I’m not sure how much the profession pays, but surely it’s at least as much as a McDonald’s server makes, don’t you think? And I’d be OK with minimum wage. At least it would pay my weekly greens fees.

Of course, I would need mileage. I’m on a fixed income and cannot be expected to dash off to a town hall in Columbia or Greenville on my own dime – not to mention such faraway town halls as the one in Issaquah, Washington, where hundreds showed up this week.

So you can see I have a lot of questions about this wonderful new professional and, frankly, I’m still looking for answers.

Heck, I don’t even know who does all the hiring. I’ve scoured the Help Wanted ads, manpower.com, WikiLeaks, even Amazon (which knows everything). So far, nothing.

I suppose I could check with the Democratic Party since it seems to be the aggrieved party these days.

Unfortunately, I’ve watched the Democrats in the past few elections and I’m not sure they have enough money to pay minimum wage. Mileage? Forget about it.

Well, I’ll keep looking. I just hope I find something before 2020.

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net.

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