Stop Helping Conservatives Spread Propaganda About Protests

Aaron Huertas
7 min readAug 29, 2020

The ongoing protests against police violence in America are among the largest civil rights demonstrations in history. They’ve rapidly shifted the debate on racial justice and policing and they’ve been overwhelmingly peaceful, except for when police and policymakers instigate violence or try to restrict people’s First Amendment rights.

But as we get closer to the election, right wing propaganda sites and Republican operatives will increasingly try to frame property destruction and physical confrontations in the streets as representative of the Democratic party and “Joe Biden’s America.” That’s because they don’t have a record to run on. Donald Trump’s administration is deeply unpopular and is overseeing an economic crisis and a bungled pandemic response that has left 180,000 Americans—and counting—dead.

Liberal and center-right media outlets — and anxious liberals themselves—should stop amplifying conservative propaganda by buying into speculation about how protests will affect the election or offering unsolicited advice to protesters. Instead, they should call out this propaganda for what it is and put the focus back on the issues.

Right Wing Propaganda Conflates Protests with Democratic Voters and Candidates

Ongoing protests against police violence are not about the general election, they are about stopping police violence. Between now and the election, there will be hundreds if not thousands of demonstrations against police violence all over the country. Right wing propaganda outlets will attempt to frame these protests as representative of the Democratic party or Democratic candidates.

Of course, frontline protesters are not holding demonstrations outside police stations to help elect Democrats. In many cases, protesters are trying to get Democratic mayors and city councils to respond to their demands. Meanwhile, more radical protesters who engage in property destruction, for instance burning down police infrastructure, are not engaging in electoral politics, either.

But right wing propaganda tries to lay all these actions at the feet of “Democrats,” conflating tens of thousands of protesters with the country’s ~60 million Democratic voters and with powerful elected officials.

Tweet from the Daily Wire trying to conflate protestors yelling at Sen. Rand Paul with the entire Democratic party.

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Aaron Huertas

Democracy is pretty cool. We should try it some time. Voting rights, science policy, political communication and grassroots activism.