Menchik in BU Today on Anti-Lockdown Protests

Jeremy Menchik, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Fredrick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, was recently interviewed for a Q&A piece on the potential impact of anti-lockdown protests in the U.S. helping Trump with re-election this fall. Menchik was interviewed for an April 24, 2020 article in BU Today entitled, “Could Anti-Lockdown Protests in the United States Help Trump Win This Fall?” Menchik argues that the protests are serving to distract from the president’s record. 

From the text of the interview:

“People across the world are being hurt by the business shutdowns, and they are mobilizing to register their discontent. They are sending letters, writing emails, making phone calls, and sharing news about related news and events in social media. But in the United States, the actors organizing the protests against state shutdowns and channeling it toward specific targets are not grassroots.

The evidence of the top-down nature of the protests is their coordination, timing, messaging, and overt links. Their group names are similar. The content is similar. Their history is similar. Their calls to action are similar. They have daily “watch parties” for President Trump’s press conferences. There is never a whiff of criticism of the current administration in the discussions.

…It’s once you see the coordination at a macro level that you recognize this is not a grassroots movement. This is being orchestrated by political operatives in order to mobilize support for Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.

You can read the full interview here.

Jeremy Menchik is Assistant Professor in the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. His book, Islam and Democracy in Indonesia: Tolerance without Liberalism (Cambridge University Press, 2016) explains the meaning of tolerance to the world’s largest Islamic organizations and was the winner of the 2017 International Studies Association award for the best book on religion and international relations.