Change does not happen at the ballot box or at a protest or with petitions. Change can only happen if we first work on allowing ourselves and others to be imperfect and allow ourselves to need others. Without vulnerability and self-compassion, we cannot expect fundamental change to happen. Waiting on the powerful or even the masses to do the right thing instead of you is like expecting the scorpion not to sting the turtle. (Cultural appropriation alert: In the original Persian story it was a turtle, not a frog.)
Politicians will never do more than throw us a few crumbs. They know they have the power and they know that there is little chance that they will face any consequences for ignoring protests or paying the lip service with no follow-through. In the US, there are, however, significant consequences for ignoring Department of Defense contractors (who use the huge portion of the budget and all of the corporate welfare they receive to back up threats of funding an opponent or of moving jobs out of a politician's state/district) and evangelical Christians (who represent the US’s largest voting bloc because they make up 25% of eligible voters whose voice is amplified by the electoral college and through the many forms of voter suppression that limit the voices of other, usually marginalised, groups).
Energy used to try and sway government is wasted because the protest itself only serves to validate their power. Protests themselves have value because they help start much-needed conversations but if we want lasting change then we must channel the energy we waste trying to get through to the ruling class into building stronger communities and alternatives to the oppressive system government administers on behalf of the (narcissistic) billionaire class. No real change will come from lobbying lawmakers who have a lot to lose if they ignore their major donors and their parties' major donors which is a fancy word for "people who buy influence and get a tax write-off in the process"
Whilst it’s easy to blame the government and expect it to fix all of society's problems instead of that’s just not how governments work. They exist to enforce private property and funnel profits to the rich whilst passing the costs of public goods and services onto the lowly payroll tax-paying…