Friday, November 25, 2011

Occupy Wall Street as an accident of history

A year ago Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert held their satirical rallies mocking the divisness in the media and politics.  Many people who were becoming frustrated with the cynicism, cronyism and double standards in the world projected their own hopes onto the rallies and mistook what they were about, much in the way they projected too much onto Obama (uhhh Micheal Moore, he campaigned on finishing the job in Afghanistan not leaving) or even voted for the Tea Part Repubs while ignoring their platform.  The general reaction to these very different events underscores a yearning in people for some sort of change and enough with the corruption and dismantling of democracy.

So it is with Occupy Wall Street.  I agree with this assesment by one Sarwar Kasmeri while not sharing in his disappointment:
But if you still believe Occupy Wall Street's objective is to illuminate and help correct the glaring inequalities in America, the message from the Hartland meeting would have disappointed you. Never a movement focused on specific changes, Occupy Wall Street now seems transformed into a chaotic grouping of utopian ideas that have more to do with social engineering than the gut-level issues that so anger much of America today.
But this is the way that OWS-types have been and always will be. Most times they are ignored, but this time the anti-financial/political corruption  and 99% theme they were espousing happened to strike a nerve with the public.  Yet it is foolish to expect this group to do anymore than their own thing and they are not obligated to do what others want them to anymore than Stewart and Colbert were.  Those who want to actually accomplish change in meaningful way need to stop complaining and step up and lead themselves.  I have to give credit to organized labor for at least trying to take advantage of the opportunity at hand, but most so-called progressives are always looking for someone else to do the heavy-lifting for them.

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