After weeks, and having spread to cities world wide, most everybody wonders what Occupy Wall Street really wants. Comparisons with the Tea Party are wrong-headed. The Tea Party was master-minded, and is stage-managed by hirelings of the billionaire Koch Brothers, who play on the fears of a narrow segment of aging, mostly white middle class Americans.
Occupy Wall Street sprang up among the young, powered by modern technology— iPhones, Twitter, Facebook— and a cruel economic squeeze that’s been tightening ever since the Bush/Cheney cohort began shifting the tax burden
from millionaires to the middle class while fabricating an addled war that still ties us down. And where the Tea Party was inserted into the Republican Party, Occupy
Wall Street belongs to itself despite many trying to co-opt it.
Occupy Wall Street is really a metaphor for a range of problems brought about by eight years of the Bush/Cheney war against the middle class. What is taken for lack of focus is an intuitive understanding that no sound bite can capture this complex range of problems. It baffles those pundits and talking heads who are lost without sound bites.
Hope among the young is being dashed by loss of jobs, a contracting economy, a congress bleating discredited trickle-down theories while refusing to enact any relief measures. It is devastating in a nation where hope is the traditional birthright of each new generation. What those in Zuccotti Park yearn for, demand, and have a right to, is the return of hope.
Occupy Wall Street signs are hand scrawled. Most Tea Party signs are poster printed. Despite their polar differences, President Obama made an observation that embraced both: “I understand the frustrations being expressed in those protests. I think people feel separated from their government.” Separation from government is the single thread that runs through both movements.
Ironically, it is starkest among Republicans, whose politicians refuse to act on any jobs bill even though poll numbers among their own strongly favor it. It reveals their true intent; to deny Americans relief, hoping voters will blame Obama. If the 2012 election goes to Democrats, this strategy will be exposed as suicidally stupid.
But if Republicans are elected, it will be deemed diabolically clever, and the
voters suicidally stupid. That the public is stupid is an idea brought in by political consultants who teethed in the advertising industry. It is what Republican politicians are counting on.