Critics of Occupy Wall Street have a transparent objective: They want to persuade blue collar whites and ordinary middle class Americans to turn on the movement for cultural reasons — because its optics offend these voters’ cultural instincts — even if they broadly agree with its general principles and critique of what’s gone wrong.
This dovetails with a quote from John Cole I recently posted here (to much rending of garments and clutching of pearls from the very people he’s talking about):
“The greatest hoax of the last couple of decades has been the ability of the right wing to co-opt members of the struggling lower middle class and lower class and pretend they speak for them while enacting policies that enable the super-rich. They’ve used wedge issues like gay marriage and abortion and the baby Jeebus to alienate folks from their own economic interests, feeding them a steady diet of hatred of minorites, the educated, science, and, well, reality to create a voting block of people so guided by hatred of the ‘other’ that they would crawl over broken glass to cut their nose off to spite their face.”
I just posted that quote from Cole on my G+, and the self-identified conservatives are livid about it. I don’t mean this as an attack on self-identified conservatives at all. I quote it because it breaks my heart.
And not that it matters, but the same thing can largely be said of Democrats since the election of 2000. I strongly believe that if Obama and the Democrats had behaved like the populists they claimed to be when they had majorities in both houses of congress, and actually done something to hold these Wall Street criminals accountable, #OWS wouldn’t be necessary.
Now we just have to hope that the #OWS protests capture enough attention for long enough to force the Democrats (because you can be damn sure it won’t be the GOP) to enact laws and policies that actually address and correct the things we’ve all been begging them to listen to for about ten years.
This is how a movement gets started, and it doesn’t end quickly or cleanly.
And it isn’t the job of the protesters to write the damn laws; that’s the job of the Congress, who need to work for The People instead of The Lobbyists.