This week, GlobalPost guest writer Susan E. Reed wrote a piece about the lack of civil unrest in the US despite the bad economy, a president who seemingly hasn't delivered, and job loss in the hundred thousands. Well, while the uproar is just getting started in France, Russia and the UK, where unionized workers are demanding restitution from their governments, here in America, I think we're at a loss about what to do.
The thing is, in the States, we were so excited to see the change that Obama promised us during the campaign that now, as things are only getting steadily worse, not only are our hopes that a fresh breeze was about to sweep through Washington dashed, but also our (make no mistake, its there) boiling anger doesn't have an outlet.
It seems unfair for us to blame Obama, after all he's only been in office a couple months... and with so many other places to lay down furious anger (AIG, Countrywide, Madoff, Congress, G.W. Bush, whatever else), Americans simply can't point just one finger and take to the streets. In fact, I don't think that humans possess enough fingers to point at the problems in this country that have contributed to the mess we're in now.
Reed makes a good point, though. Banding together to unite against a common "enemy" for the benefit of the greater good is a lesson that goes well beyond history and even into lore (see 300)(kidding). Seriously, though, that idea has been known to work - and well.
But I think that while in Ireland, which is a much smaller country, lets not forget this, where "100,000 people ... marched through Dublin to protest proposed wage cuts," there aren't 100,000 people in the same place with the same problems here. While wage cuts may be the most important thing to one person, losing a house might be the biggest for another.
According to Reuters columnist Bernd Debusmann, "in February alone, an average of 23,000 people a day lost their jobs" and there are apparently "tent cities" popping up all over the country, filled with refugees of the mortgage war.
I know that personally, job loss and houses aren't on the top of the list for college kids, the best known protesters this country has besides the original Revolutionaries, its the exorbitant amount of loans coming our way in a couple of years. And then we look at our contemporaries in Europe who get scholarships and go to college practically for free for better educations. Why? Why is education so expensive if everyone goes to college now?
So what do we choose? What is it that we should band together to protest? I have no idea.
I don't think other Americans do either.