President Trump’s initial response to the weekend protests (“Why didn’t these people vote?”) betrays an ignorance of the workings of American democracy, not to mention the dynamics of social movements.
There are undoubtedly a few who didn’t vote out of principle, or disgust at the choices offered, but most of the population that doesn’t vote follows this course of inaction out of apathy, or perhaps a sense of hopelessness regarding the political process.
Those who sacrifice a day of their weekend to assemble on the streets are the opposite of apathetic. They are the most committed of us; the ones who are able to fully express their right to speak, assemble, and protest. They are people who work and/or go to school, people who are parents and grandparents, people who make phone calls and write letters to their representatives, people who most likely read, discuss, and think more than the average citizen about policy and the consequences of government actions. They are, in short, people who care and who reflect the spirit of democracy.
Wake up, President Trump. You were voted into office by a minority of our population, but the majority is going to hold you accountable.