What Politicians Could Learn On How They Can Deal With Protesters From Comedians?

Politicians Could Learn

During a campaign rally of Bernie Sanders in Seattle, last August, a couple of Black Lives Matter protesters took over the stage. As they approach closer to the podium and mic of Samders’ raising their fists in front of the audiences, Mara Jacqueline Willaford asked Sanders to give way the mic to a fellow protestor. Sanders was told by Willaford that if he did not listen to her, the event will be shut down immediately.

Sanders listened and gave the mic. Then the activists spoke for over 20 minutes. This made the candidate leave the stage and end the event without completing the speech that he had to give.

This scene might be a memorable example of disruptive protests that happened this campaign season. But, Sanders is not the only one. Last month, the protesters took over a campaign event of Donald Trump at an auditorium at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Trying to obtain moments

The protesters had forced Donald Trump to cancel the campaign rally even before it started. Earlier in April, the former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, who was stumping for Hillary Clinton, his wife at a campaigning event in Philadelphia was into a ten-minute heated back and forth over his 1994 crime bill with a protester.

These days, it appears like politics are facing interruptions in their sets more than bad stand-up comedians. Maybe, they might use some advice from the comedians on how they can handle the situation.

The major questions in everyone’s mind are why there are many protests at this year’s presidential campaign season and why there are cringe-inducing interactions with the candidates. Lara Brown, George Washington University’s Director of Political Management Program, stated that it is not a new thing and that we see more.

In the current modern politics, nothing is mediated anymore, Brown added. For her, it is all about the declining preeminence of the customary news media. The mainstream media failed to report on protesters, and they did not see it as important news as there were people who did not agree with the protestors. What they were interested in what the person who had to speak was saying.

Earlier, if a journalist did not cover a story about it or took a picture of the same, it might not be known or publicized. Now, a picture or video goes viral with Twitter or Instagram and the whole world gets to see it. The modern technology has led the protestors publicize an issue, and it is all about going viral.

How to reach to protesters?

The presidential candidates and their substitutes face protesters, they can reach in one of the below mentioned three ways, says Brown.

Fight: They can engage in an argument to show that the logic behind the protest is flawed.

Enlist the Crowd: They will try to get the crowd against the protester, but this can be dangerous as well.

Let them Speak: The politicians can give the protestors time to say their issue and get back to their work.

How Comedians Handle The Issue?

Politicians Could Learn1Stand-up comedians who are heckled almost constantly by protectors, and they are some unlikely sources to guide the politicians to handle the disruptive protests. The protesters are not hecklers, but they work for the progress of serious issues.

The best thing that the politicians can do is let them ruin the show a little so that the audiences are aggravated, claims Laurie Kilmartin, a comedian who contested on the Last Comic Standing reality show. The audience will think she will do something about the person and keep cheering when you do. This is similar to ‘enlist the crowd’ tactic of Professor Brown.

Phoebe Robinson, the co-host of 2 Dope Queens WNYC comedy podcast faced show-goers didn’t stop talking in one of her shows. She told them that she can hear them, and that is not Netflix. They kept quiet then.

They both state that first one should stay put as there is no option to run off the stage. Next, the person should be calm. Be it a politician or a comedian, one cannot get angry when he or she is on stage. If the person gets angry, the protestors or hecklers win. The final rule is never give up the mic.

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