Salena Zito

People look at last fall’s financial meltdown and wonder what happened to all of that “prosperity” that they thought the government was helping to orchestrate. It makes them wonder if former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan really was a financial genius. And what about the federal debt, which doubled under George Bush?

Obama's campaign promised change and hope, yet so far his presidency mostly has been about ramping-up government programs and spending – not necessarily the change people thought they would get.

“In short, I think people are just feeling disillusioned and duped by politicians who keep promising solutions and delivering more problems,” Villanova’s Brown says.

She thinks politicians and the media are behaving arrogantly by dismissing what is going on.

What people should remember is what President Bill Clinton said at the beginning of his 1995 State of the Union address. He made a joke about also having been elected to the presidency on a sentiment for “change” – as he looked directly at Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who had just won a majority in Congress thanks to his “Republican Revolution.”

That was then, and this is now. What, if anything, is next?

“That is the unanswered question,” says Michael Reagan, a syndicated talk-radio host and son of President Ronald Reagan.

“If what people did on April 15 is used as an end-point, then people lose,” he says. “But if the movement and energy continue, then that is something that Washington should be concerned about.”

That means everyone in Washington, not just Democrats, he adds.

Our society moves forward only when it experiences setbacks; oddly, those setbacks insure our perseverance. And the United States is a democracy that flourishes on free speech and the right to gather in protest.

Dismissing today’s anti-tax protests is a little like those dismissals of Ross Perot when he ran for president in 1992: His anti-tax, anti-big-government message – not Bill Clinton – is what really beat George H.W. Bush.

Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.