What drives Americans to protest?
14 Feb, 2011 22:23
As more and more countries join the wave of protests that have been sweeping through the Middle East, many are wondering just how far these protests will spread.
The world has been watching closely, hoping these destructive protests steer clear of their own backyards.In the United States, a heated debate has erupted over whether or not Americans will follow in the footsteps of the Egyptians and begin protesting. Some are convinced Americans simply don’t have enough enthusiasm to rally in mass numbers.“I don’t think that Americans are motivated enough to go protest in those kind of numbers,” said Washington DC resident, Dan Rubin.However, others said protesting has been and will always be a uniquely American characteristic.“I think it’s part of the American DNA,” said Washington DC resident John Townsend. “I think that we take protests seriously and that when agitated and aggrieved and impassioned we take to the streets--that’s part of the American lifestyle, it’s our way of life.”Whether it’s the economy, gay marriage, immigration, or universal healthcare, most everyone can cite a cause that would motivate them to rally in the streets of Washington.Does the United States need to brace themselves for Middle Eastern style protests just yet? While many citizens weren’t sure, they all agreed on one message for the US government to take away from these protests:fix the economy, or else.George Hemminger, the founder of Survive and Thrive TV explained Americans do come together and protest, but not in the same way or in the same mass numbers as those across the Middle East. But, that may change he argued.“We may be getting to the point, to some point, where people become so economically downtrodden that they may have nothing to do but hit the street,” he said. He said Americans would begin to rebel is big cuts came to social programs, such as social secretly and other entitlement programs. The people are in need of unemployment and welfare. As the economy continues to dwindle and jobs are scarce, some people have no option but to turn to the government. If the government is not there to support them, the people will turn to the streets to riot and protest. Overall, most Americans exist in a sense of complacency because little attention is given to US protests. There is a great deal of ignorance about what is really going on in America, Hemminger argued.