In a year of theatrical speeches, fractious political debates, halting press conferences, solemn news reports and activists’ passionate pleas, it was simple, homemade signs carried by parades of protesters that most captured the outraged — and conflicted — American voice.I
Through it all, we were combating an enemy like no other, and the president’s unsteady handling of the U.S. effort raised questions anew about trust in our government. Many of those who felt called to wave their signs were doing so for the first time, and they took solace in the unity around them, despite the long shadow of injustice they were railing against. Wasn’t this, after all, the ultimate responsibility of citizens in a democracy — to stand up and demand accountability? Wasn’t this the essence of the American spirit?