Jeff Sessions is an awful human being and a terrible politician. The former U.S. attorney general and Alabama senator has a homophobic, racist and xenophopbic agenda that could have damaging, real-world consequences for the most vulnerable in our country.
Many have acknowledged that conservatives should be welcome to speak on campus—but Sessions is not a normal conservative. He stands for corruption and loyalty to Donald Trump’s cult of personality, not rule of law or individuality. So it’s natural to want to protest his very presence on campus. But we are all going about it the wrong way. The best way to protest would have been to simply to ignore him.
Here’s the thing. If you are going to protest, you should protest for a specific cause. Thankfully, what was once a general “Protest Jeff Sessions” Facebook event has now changed its description to a “night of action,” where speakers and other political groups are set to encourage civic engagement with voter registration materials and campaign information.
This is certainly good news, but wouldn’t it have been wonderful if, instead of spending time and energy to protest one bad speaker, everyone had just not given the reaction he surely wants? Sessions and everyone in College Republicans, the club that invited him to campus, are probably relishing that a bunch of “triggered” liberals are showing up to scare away a lone conservative from his treasured right to free speech, playing into the narrative that Sessions loves to push.
After all, it’s not as if Sessions has a massive youth following. I certainly don’t think that the average young conservative is going to sleep at night wishing to be like him, pining at the Jeff Sessions poster in his room—at least ... I hope not. The reason a former member of a presidential cabinet is showing up to discuss the agenda of that president (who forced him out of his role!) is really just a pathetic PR stunt to save Trump’s failing presidency as support for impeachment in the polls continues to rise.
Sessions is irrelevant. Protesting him is like protesting the presence of one online, alt-right troll. Attend the night of action to get politically engaged in a positive way, but give Jeff Sessions himself the inattention he deserves.
Editor's Note: The views presented in this story belong to the writer are not necessarily reflective of North by Northwestern as a whole.
Thumbnail credit: Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0