Protests against Trump

I very much hoped Clinton would win, and share the concerns of many others about a Trump presidency.  One of the numeorous worrying things about Trump is his apparently hazy commitment to democracy.  He refused to give a clear assurance that he would accept the outcome of the election if it didn’t go his way.  This led to fears that his more zealous supporters would go on the rampage in the event of a Clinton victory.

Now Owen Jones is saying that Clinton supporters should protest against Trump in a tit for tat move. Perhaps surprisingly he invokes in justification an earlier Trump attack on Obama rather than his more recent hints that he might refuse to concede victory to Clinton:

And the demonstrations have gone beyond mere protests.  In Portland they’ve been classed as riots.  One protestor smashed a bank window, and others threw Molotov cocktails at police officers.

Of course a Trump win might understandably stress test even the most peaceable and democracy respecting voter.  Anti-racist vigils are an appropriate response given his comments about Muslims, Mexicans and other groups.  But in New Orleans graffiti reading ‘Die Whites Die’ was sprayed on a monument.

Protesting the result of a democratic election – whatever one thinks of the result – is a dubious move.  What exactly does one hope to achieve?  What should one be able to achieve?

Update: Ben points out on Twitter that, despite the many controversies surrounding his election there were no violent protests following either of Obama’s victories.