For weeks, months, years, decad… OK, maybe not decades, but DAYS, I along with hundreds of other commentators, maybe thousands, maybe milli… OK not millions, but you get the point – have all been saying the same thing. (It’s an old joke, I know.)
“Where are the liberal, progressive and forward thinking Americans? Where are the protesters we saw in the 1960s and 70s who did change the world?”
Those long-haired hippy-freaks who brought about social and economic change. Who opened the door to civil rights for minorities. Who worked tirelessly to stop an unpopular war with the use of the public voice and vote. Where are the men and women Baby Boomers whose voices have been lost? It is their children who are now speaking up.
Not only in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and other major cities in the country, but in my little city of 100,000 – plus 30,000 students – in the middle of Middle-America and other towns throughout the country. The voices of the liberal, progressive and forward thinking world that has been missing for so long has returned to revitalize politics in America.
And the opposition, the ultra-conservative members of the Gray Old People’s party, is calling the occupiers every name they used in 1968 against the liberal and progressive students and adults wanting real social change. In fact, because the new voices are liberal, educated and looking to the future, those participating in this movement are being called, among other things, COMMUNISTS.
These are the same conservatives who are praising that other grass-roots organization which also had no leadership, no defined organizational structure, no direction when it began as patriots, and now calling the occupiers idiots, fools, traitors to the American way, and unpatriotic.
The basis of this massive misconception and demonizing is the same that cause the right-wing right-wingers to believe our president is not an American, is not qualified to be President, and is wrong about everything that he does – even when he compromises to the benefit of the Republican/conservative leadership.
These are the same inidividuals who see anyone who differs from their beliefs as “the enemy.”
Just because you do not like what the occupy Wall Street People are saying is no reason to see them any different than, let say, the tea party activists when they first started.
Here is the difference, at least the way I can see it politically, between the two movements. The tea partiers want to move backwards, do not trust the government, see taxes as pure evil, and demonize the President and the liberals. They see big business as the savior and, regardless of how someone makes their money, the rich as good, poor as bad and the government should not help the bad.
The Occupy Wall Street movement sees big business as the cause of the financial meltdown as well as the continued problem of high unemployment, home foreclosures and other economic ailments. They see banks like Bank of America as pure evil, which sees profit over the better good, which looks backwards, and who are not supporting the lower and middle economic classes as unpatriotic.
More important, I see the tea party movement as backwards thinking and the occupy Wall Street movement as forward looking.
The tea party movement as pure conservative thinking, holding dear to traditional institutions and organization; that “society moves forward only by looking backwards.” They see the “old days” as good, simpler and understandable and govern on two principles; that the smaller the government the better and if it ain’t broken, leave it alone.
The occupy Wall Streeters are progressive thinking, looking towards what is good and how to make it better. They work on two basic principles; the government works best when it is protecting the interests of its citizens and if it ain’t broke, make it better.
To call either evil, unpatriotic or stupid is insulting the Constitution itself; more specifically the First Amendment. Each has its own lack of understanding the issues at hand; each has its number of strange and weird followers. But each make a point; even if the citizens of the United States are extremely dissatisfied with the Congress and the President, the Constitution is alive, well and working for all.