Where have all the demonstrations gone?
A few years ago I was glad to participate in demonstrations against Bush's deplorable war in Iraq. Unfortunately, that trend fizzled out. Yes, there are demonstrations by union members in Madison WI, but it remains to be seen whether that model will go national. Somewhat bizarrely, the closest we have seen to a national counterpart was the aggressive Tea Party gatherings of two years ago. Maybe the two trends will meld as the economy gets worse, but I doubt it.
The paradox is the the new social media--Facebook and Twitter especially--played a major role in galvanizing street protests in the Arab spring. In the US, though, they seem to have the opposite effect, enhancing physical isolation. Why go out in the streets when one can assemble a little group on Facebook?
As a personal confession, I should say that although I subscribe to Facebook, I do not post on it: there is too much noise and trivia.