Two sets of public protests took place during the first month of the Trump administration. The first were the women’s marches the day after the inauguration. That was followed by a spontaneous outpouring at many airports when the Executive Order on immigration was announced in late January.
A very important wildcard is whether protests will continue over time. Will the peaceful reaction continue and grow, or will the opposition sink back into the political lethargy that has largely characterized the center-left over the past decades?
It truly is an unknown. On one hand, there never has been a foil quite like Donald Trump. There also are powerful social media tools available to keep people informed and enfranchised. On the other hand is the reality that this is a long-term problem, and not every issue will be as dramatic as a disliked politician being sworn into office or the release of a controversial order.
I spoke this week with Bob Libal, the Executive Director of Grassroots Leadership, an Austin, TX-based organization that focuses on issues related to incarceration. Much of our conversation center on the chances of a politically apathetic populace remaining committed and active over the long haul.