Your humble correspondent is a bit ambivalent about the #OccupyWallStreet movement, perhaps because rather than occupying Wall Street, the protesters are occupying a minor, privately-owned park with the permission of the park’s owner. Arab Spring this is not.
I’m certainly sympathetic with the reasons for the protest — Wall Street, our de facto rulers, is a hideous place full of hideous people with hideous ideas of what to do about the hideous masses. Not very pretty.
Corporate greed is a scourge on our country, on the whole planet. And yet, it’s the driving factor behind our government. The source of the money.
But the occupy whatever movement seems to be missing a few salient points. Like, for example, government is not the problem. The people constituting this government are the problem, and not all of them at that. The answer isn’t anarchy. The answer is to elect a government that has its collective head out of its collective ass and get serious.
Think about it. Even if you thought Barack Obama was an actual liberal (and why you would have thought that is beyond me, unless you actually believed the right-wing trope about him), you should have known that there was no way in hell he could get a truly progressive agenda past Congress, even a Congress that was, as was true for his first two year, a Democratic majority one. Not all Democrats are alike, and there were far too many blue dogs to affect any real change. And the Senate, with its narrow majority, couldn’t possibly pass anything progressive with Republican obstruction the rule of the day.
And now — well, now that the fair-weather progressives amongst us sat out the 2010 election and let the Tea Party take of the House — now we’ve shot our collective selves in our collective feet and we’re stuck.
So knowing that it’s our own damn fault that we stuck with this shit, what do we do? We threaten to sit out the next election too, thus guaranteeing not only a Tea Party-led House, but a Republican majority Senate and god knows what idiot Republican in the White House.
To paraphrase Dr. Phil, how you think that’s gonna work out for ya?
What’s the thought process there, nimrods? Let the Republicans tear us apart for four years and then we’ll all be relieved to put the Democrats or someone truly progressive back in charge? Back in charge of what? Just exactly what do you think will be left to be in charge of after four years of complete Tea Party rule?
That scenario is like to lead to but one thing: the Balkanization of the United States. And I for one don’t relish the thought of living in the new Confederacy. Should that happen, I will blame you, fair-weather progressives, just like I blame you for eight years of George W. Bush.
So, occupy whatever. I wouldn’t dream of saying you shouldn’t protest, but I doubt anything will ever come of it. For one thing, it’s not life and death for you. You don’t live under the oppressive thumb of a despot. Your cries of police brutality are laughable, really. Call me when the police and their civilian thug assistants start shooting at you with automatic weapons, or when the tanks roll in. Or when your numbers start disappearing from the streets, never to be heard from until your mutilated bodies turn up in a morgue somewhere. It’s really not even close when you’re arrested for disturbing the peace and resisting arrest and released the next morning on your own recognizance.
But I love your energy, your exuberance. I love your insistence on no leaders. I love, most of all, that you’re doing something.
Would that the rest of us could catch a little of that.