What do people think about protest music? As a general rule, I tend to think of it as quite pathetic: the rich protesting what makes them rich so that they can both profit (it’s a very basic form of advertising), but there are some exceptions. (The main one would be The Who.)
I listen to protest music a lot since it’s deeply ingrained into the overall rock music genre. But I listen to it as a protest of the new degenerate normal. It’s a bit of a mental hoop to jump through, though.
For the most part, I will listen to anything that’s on the radio and judge it based on its musical merit. There is very little I’ve found in protest music that is truly individual (again, with The Who as a notable exception). In this way, it is similar to the punk genre, which did the exact same thing of complaining about the rich and capitalist society whilst benefitting greatly from that society.