Born of almost identical frustration with the state of the economy – the people have risen up. That’s not a bad thing, but will it be a successful one? Or will money continue to define and manipulate how the people check, click, punch their ballots? And is that a bad, wrong, or inevitable – thing?
The Tea Party owns first dibs on this one – though many have said it’s been co-opted by the Republican Grand Old Party – or has the GOP been otherwise inversely co-opted? I’ll leave that for a future commentary…
More recently, the populist discontent, has erupted in a slowly(or quickly?) growing uprising against and directly aimed at Wall Street – at those that were bailed out – by those that were not. Everyday of the “occupation”(s) means it’s more newsworthy, something to be ignored, demonized, revered? It is also clear, that there is at least a left lean, or a liberal lean to it – not a Democrat one(yet) mind you. If anything, the movement(and it is fast becoming one) is pointedly anti-establishment. They don’t want to be labeled or aligned (again, I say yet) with the flip side, aka the Dems. And the Dems don’t know if they want them. One of the always (as a liberal) frustrating things about the party that claims us, is that we are a bit rebellious, and harder to harness, focus, for common goals.
Even more eye crossing for those of us on the sidelines, that would like to support the new movement, if you will, is the anarchists hat thrown into the fray – yeah, you heard me, anarchists – they seem to come to any party, especially rebelious ones – I guess that is invetible, no? I mean, define anarchy. Read more about the anarchists solidarity here – http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2011/10/07/dear-occupiers-a-letter-from-anarchists/. If the concept of this “alignement” seems a bit troubling, you aren’t the only one, but that too, will be held for future commentary.
I am not here to say whether the “occupy” movement is any more legitimate than the tea party – but why I get it, even if I don’t agree with some of the more radical things that are being spouted.
The reality, is that the people are feeling unfairly put upon. Jobs have dried up, and companies and banks are hoarding cash, and finding new ways to raise profits. They were bailed out, and now they’re bailing out. The tea party slash conservative view would be to cut government spending/intervention, because the bail out was wrong (I am being kind). The flip side is, they were bailed out, now where’s ours? After the far right has decided that government can’t do the job, the otherside is like, wall street screwed us. And thus opposing corners. Is either wrong. Perhaps both are.
The bail out, as the TARP is referred to, was necessary. Financial collapse of any of the major institutions would have lead to 1929 redux. That is why even the then exiting Bush whitehouse knew it had to be done. The problem with the initial bail out, and subsequent pieces, was that it included no accountability. Not surprising but still unsettling, and thus, an incomplete fix. Sure we avoided chaos, but we instead bought into a long uncomfortable recession. Squirts of goverment stimulus can’t fix it, and party squabbling and inaction, just drag it out more. Spending cuts do nothing but increase the hurt. What is the answer?
Personally, I think they need to stimulate innovation, give payroll tax cuts where needed(not the people that already have piles in the bank – duh), incent relief in the mortgage market. Everyone knows in sales, etc, incentives work. What does not work, is giving freely (bailouts, tax cuts)and crossing fingers that this will result in what is needed. It doesn’t even make logical sense what was done and what the GOP would promote. Blind hope isn’t realistic, and history proves against it. As of now, the Democrats are unable(the occupiers may even say are unwilling) to do anything else but edge barely to the left – these are not solutions.
What I would promote – probably neither side would consider politically feasible – it doesn’t satisfy either radical approach. To be pragmatic & logical, has in turn become it’s own version radical. Chew on that.
I will follow up with my take on the Tea Party – it’s partnership and perhaps take over of the elected GOP, and why I think it has evolved to be nothing more than a “legitimate” mask for religious zealots. And of course more on the Occupy movement – because, it cannot be ignored – whether you support it or not, something is brewing.
My first full blog on the images from 10/6 & 10/8 is here – http://photosbyelisa.com/2011/10/occupy-seattle-beginning-first-images.html
ETA – a representative article – shows the disconnect vibe the occupy is almost using against the Democrats – http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/oct2011/pers-o08.shtml – question for the next, how will being so anti establishment effect any change?