There are two types of people in this world: Those who believe in the power of protest and those who mock it. It’s an age-old battle of the optimistic few versus the jaded masses. Both sides feel certain that their way is right and both are driven by anecdotal evidence. There’s no definitive study on protesting. Hundreds, thousands of protests across the nation fall flat every year. Plenty of social media boycotts and school sit-ins fail to make a ripple. So it’s easy to be dubious.
But here’s the kicker: Protests also change things. Every year that this country has been a country, and even the very moment that this country became a country, protests were vital to how we shaped our future. That’s not blind idealism, that’s fact. We are a nation nurtured on dissent, and we have been better for it every step of the way.
This month, people took to the streets to rally against a Donald Trump presidency. They marched through large cities and small ones. They used social media to share their message and they pushed back against political machinations which they felt contradicted their values.