So I’m sitting here listening and watching CNN, the images of the Occupy Movement demonstrators dancing across my television screen. The more I listen, the more I watch, the more my admiration for the demonstrators grows. And while the New York demonstrators were not able to delay the ringing of Wall Street’s opening bell, the fact still remains that they are indeed making a statement.
There is an uprising occurring in this country, and I don’t think it is going to end anytime soon. But CNN correspondent Carol Costello raised a very good question this morning, asking, “Has the Occupy Movement changed the political conversation in America?”
I think it has, resulting from the fact that all of the attention is not being trained on an out-of-touch Tea Party, a conservative-leaning group committed to the status quo wrought by the failed policies of former president George W. Bush (R-Texas). Media outlets are now talking about the economic and social issues that need to be resolved today, not 12 months from now.
As you will recall, many of these self-proclaimed “Tea Party activists” sported guns during assemblies in Washington, DC and other parts of the country. They even called President Barack Obama a fascist, and questioned his American citizenship. By sporting guns, these misguided Americans were seemingly trying to send a message to President Obama. “Do it our way, or we’re going to force you out.” But the emergence of the Occupy Movement is enabling more Americans to see that the modern-day Republican/Tea Party is against the 99%, for the 1%.
I find it odd, however, that the Occupy Movement did not gain momentum during the 2010 elections. Prior to these elections, all we Americans heard about was the Tea Party, and how it would work through the Republican Party to rebuild the American dream. And because the media focused so much attention on its establishment, and the personal attacks made against President Obama by conservative Republicans, we ended up with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Because progressive-minded Americans didn’t show up and show out at the polls, the Democratic Party lost the momentum it needed to bring about the change we can believe in.
I don’t know if the existence of the Occupy Movement will cause more progressive-minded Americans to show up and show out next November. If we do, President Obama will be elected to a second term, and the Democratic Party will regain control of both Congressional houses. But if such a change is to occur, we progressive-minded Americans must overcome the Jedi Mind Tricks being employed by the GOP, whose number one goal is to make President Obama a one-term president.
The GOP wants us to believe that they have the country’s best interest at heart. Based on the comments made by Republican presidential nominees Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich, our best interest is better served by allowing the 1% to hold on to the monies they received from George W. Bush’s tax cuts. But these tax cuts, coupled with corporate and populace greed, is what turned the (Bill) Clinton surplus into a Bush deficit. So, I ask you, my friends, is the GOP’s cut, cap and balance plan enough to restore this surplus?
Most people think not because it does not call for the establishment of new revenue streams.
The Occupation Movement is doing so well because it isn’t allowing itself to be taken over by either the Republican/Tea or Democratic Party. But the Republican/Tea Party is trying to link it with the Democratic Party, referring to it as a leftist movement. While such a linkage should be perceived as a compliment by President Obama and other Democratic leaders, it also reveals how much members of the Republican/Tea Party fear real progress. They know if progress is made, they have no chance of unseating President Obama, and their Congressional numbers will shrink.
Hopefully, it also causes Democratic leaders to wake up. They now have the 99%’s support for a progressive agenda free of special interest group influence.
What do you think?
I look forward to reading your responses.
Jeffery A. Faulkerson, MSSW