I used to think that protests were a waste of time, particularly those aimed at corporate powers or the government. I mean really, besides creating unnecessary pressure on local law enforcement and fodder for the news, what do they really accomplish? What do they change? Over time, I've realized that my feelings were such because we haven’t had a reason to seriously fight for a worthy cause in a long time, whether it was for independence, allowing women to vote, or to end segregation. The idea of protesting against the government seems like a vain endeavor, very much David and Goliath without the voice of God or impeccable aim to guide our ammunition. How is it that this attitude exists when it is the government that was created to serve the people?
The more I ponder the current status of the political game, corporate greed, climate change, and the ever increasing abyss between socio-economic classes, the more I realize that now is as good a time as any to assemble in protest. Our current president alluded to much of this need with his campaign message of change. He was right; we were just foolish to think that he could do it alone. We thought, somehow, that casting a vote and then going back to our entitled lives of lattes, smart phones, and miniature dogs, that things would magically change.
You can’t really blame us though can you? In essence, we have become entitled. We are a society fraught with the entitlement that comes with instant gratification. With the spawn of the internet and our ever powerful handheld devices, we have been conditioning ourselves to believe that things such as the economy, the presidency, and the attitude of millions can be changed as quickly as we can change our facebook status.
However, what we’re failing to realize is even though women can now vote and we can all drink poor tasting, bacteria-infested water from the same fountain, protests are still needed now more than ever. We have enjoyed years of economic growth and supremacy, and in our complacence we’ve allowed politics and corporate America to grow into powerful, monopolizing behemoths; enormous conglomerates run by CEO’s more concerned with their elite financial status than ethics. Wall Street, lobbyists, and the insanely wealthy continue to take advantage of legal loopholes that do nothing more for the economy than they do for bridging the gap between financial classes.
Protesting isn’t just a right, but a civil duty. If we’re going to turn things around, we have to demand transparency with political campaign funding. We must demand that corporate greed be punished, that the affluent pay appropriate taxes, and that the attitude towards education and health insurance be shifted. How is it possible that we continue to lay off dedicated, loyal, intelligent, and ethical educators, but grant huge bonuses to CEO’s in charge of organizations mired in legal trouble and financial ruin? I don’t know about you, but I know who I’d give a pink slip to.