Marching side by side

Protests are a funny thing, most people don’t like them even when they have legitimate points.  Most recently I think of the election, the equal rights and various civil rights protests going on since the 9th of November, but I’m also thinking of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Vietnam protests and, of course, the protests of Dr. King.  Most of these protests were condemned and derided, even as they spoke to fairly large segment of people.  Protests on a national or semi-national scale take time to gain momentum, especially the ones pre social media.  If enough of your population is motivated to come together in mass to protest a social issue, overcoming the apathy and inertia so common to a populace that live relatively comfortably, you should probably take it seriously, even if you don’t agree with it.

Protests are inconvenient, they block are walkways and streets, they make noise in the otherwise idyllic cacophony found in most metropolitan hubs.  They draw attention to negative things, uncomfortable social disparities, and they often include people who we determine should not be there.  You know them, the ones that we think of as already having all those pesky rights and social niceties, those privileges already afforded them.  Why should they be out there protesting?  It’s easier to maintain apathy when you can criticize the inconsequential.

It will be interesting to see how President Trump handles these protests to some of his ideas, indeed, to himself.  He’s notoriously thin skinned and not one to take a perceived slight.  President Obama could probably give him some advice in that area…

By Dan Granot

I chose the Shorter Whitman because of his work, "Song of Myself" and because of my self-deprecating sense of humor. I am under no illusion that I can write successful essays or poetry, but I have been known to write them anyway.


  1. I agree. even if I disagree with them, protests suggest, or even indicate, a loss of consent of the governed. As in ‘deriving their jurst powers from the consent of the governed.’ I happen to think the current protests are just the fluff of anger at losing. That doesn’t matter. If the anger proves widespread it is still loss of consent. Of course if neither side has the consent of the governed, there lie interesting times.

  2. I think some of the protests are as much reaction to the person elected and some of the policies he’s enacted in the 1st week. I can understand where some of them are coming from. I don’t think it helps that President Trump doesn’t have the affability of a Clinton or Obama, he can’t smile and get people to laugh like they do. It makes it harder to give him the same pass that we gave other guys.

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