It was a case of so near and yet so far. Donald Trump returned to New York on Thursday night for the first time since his inauguration, yet the closest he could get to his home in Trump Tower was 10 blocks away as the city that made his fortune greeted him with noisy protest.
The president bypassed his Fifth Avenue penthouse, where First Lady Melania and youngest son Barron still live, bound for the USS Intrepid, a decommissioned aircraft carrier on the Hudson river, where he attended a gala to mark the 75th anniversary of a major second world war naval battle. The Guardian, May 5th 2017
If Trump is an embarrassment, he's only marginally more so than the protesters, who true to the tacky showbiz values they deplore in Trump, come out with mind-blowingly dumb slogans as 'Arrest Trump'. It's precisely narcissism that helped elevate Trump to power: the protesters are in the same game very often.
Trump cannot be 'arrested' for not having been charged with any crimes. Dumb slogans like that play into the hands of Trump and his supporters who could claim, with good reason, that they are bad losers and that they prefer winners. 'The resistance' makes it sound as though Trump was actually a total Hitler in power.
'No to travel ban' was a more sensible slogan but, on the whole, protesters come across as narcissists obsessed with the idea "Look at me, look how great I am". It's the same narcissism as Trump, wholly predictable and simply plays up to the stereotype of the tedious 'SJW', a sort of professional camp protester who just likes 'triggering' emotion.
New York is a cosmopolitan city but it's not necessarily any more of a "compassionate city" than London. It's a city of hard bitten commercial and financial dealings and interests of the sort that was behind the very creation of Trump. He's not popular there but he no longer cares as he has 'Middle America' and 'the folks'.
Protesters need to be less melodramatic, less obsessed with themselves and more devoted to appearing as concerned as many are by the national security state and the dangers of Trump's foreign policies. Otherwise they could just come across as an astroturf opposition. They need to connect to Middle America as well.
Naturally, those who point that out these obvious facts and observations would be demonised as 'objectively' pro-Trump. The US education system and media tends towards indoctrination rather than towards open minded free thinking out side the parochial US box. 'Political correctness' needs to go completely.
What's needed is a protest opposition that eschews hyperbole and identity political prancing and draws more towards social and economic issues of equality, attacking elite corruption and the way US politics has become oligarchical and dependent upon political dynasties and the values of branding and advertising.
The failure of anti-Trump protesters is that they come across as spoilt brats rather than a renewed movement for preserving liberties and civil rights against arbitrary power. That's actually what the US needs and it could have to learn the hard way that narcissism and shouting "bigot" ( often meaning heretic ) won't work.