Friday, May 16, 2014
Is Protesting Pointless?
Today allegedly marked the beginning of “Operation American Spring”, which, as the name implies, was supposed to be the Tea Party's version of the Arab Spring, where protestors would overthrow Obama and other Democratic politicians. What was supposed to attract crowds of tens of millions only managed to attract small clusters of tens.
Anyone who is remotely disappointed by this has not been paying attention.
As much as I would have loved to back this protest—heck, even march in it myself—recent attempts at similar protests have all but snuffed out my faith in the power of peaceful assembly.
Let’s consider the past few years:
Did the anti-Bush protests end the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq? No. If anything, those wars, along with the emerging trend of interventionist foreign policy, and coupled with the erosion of civil liberties, have continued under Obama.
Did the Tea Party protests stop Obamacare from being passed? No. It passed regardless. And even with Tea Party elected congressmen, it’s socialized healthcare policies continue to be further implemented.
Did the Occupy protests force the Wall Street bankers to be held accountable for crashing the economy? No. If anything, Wall Street, along with other crony corporations, continue to benefit from record profits and government handouts.
Did the Restore The Fourth rallies that were held across the country last year in response to the NSA leaks do anything to curtail the surveillance state? Well, unless you count Obama’s “reforms” (which aren’t even remotely reforms), then no.
Have the numerous fast food and Wal-Mart strikes resulted in minimum wage hikes? No. Have the Keystone protests prevented the pipeline's construction? No. Heck, the March for Life has been held annually in Washington D.C. for the past 40 years, and Roe. v. Wade is nowhere near to being repealed.
There once was a time when I believed that rallying enough people for a common cause would allow for enough leverage to shift the political machine in our favor, but the past decade or so has since convinced me that organized protests only lead to two things: jack and squat—and jack left town!
Even if the entire U.S. population were to miraculously agree on something and crowd the streets of D.C., their presence would hardly sway the political elite that man the corporate state. I hate to be so pessimistic. Believe me, I would love to see nothing more than the same collective energy that has been surging through other parts of the world like Venezuela, Ukraine, and Brazil, but the past few years and the countless failed protests prevent me from having such faith in the American people.
So I have to ask: is there any point in protesting, or is it all just pointless?