Bill Maher actually said something halfway intelligent in Newsweek. I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day. He was criticizing war protestors because he didn’t see how their actions were going to sway the undecided.
That’s hitting the nail on the head. The proper point of debates or protests or whatever is not to change the minds of your opponents but to influence the undecided. I think I learned that in debate. Anyway, that should shape how you debate, protest or whatever.
That’s why I think with a lot of protestors (not all), their primary objective isn’t changing things at all. I think they just want to hear the sound of their voice. Make their voice heard. Which is different from changing the world. It’s self oriented. And whatever, knock yourself out, everyone has a right to say whatever they want, that’s what makes America great. But they’re not about making a difference.
The alternative is that they’re stupid, and they actually think that the types of tactics that have been used, inconveniencing tons of people just trying to do their jobs, will actually sway those who are undecided.