What Occupy Wall Street Can Learn from the Tea Party
By Malcolm Out Loud, Contributor, US Daily Review.
From ‘Sea to Shining Sea’ protesters are being arrested and carried away to jail as police clashes are now commonplace. What does the future hold for this popular movement? How can organizers channel popular frustration and protests into real change? It will be much harder than anyone predicts as the movement is already bogged down in violence and crime.
What started out as peaceful protests against Big Business Bailouts and Wall Street Greed has turned into the “Hippies and Homeless CampOut”. Occupy Atlanta organizer Latron Price said he was disappointed that the situation grew confrontational. “As responsible occupiers, we have to step up and try to display an example that the overall agenda is not about confrontation with police,” he told The Associated Press. “We need to deal with the banks, we need to deal with home foreclosures, and we need to deal with wealth disparity.” Asked about the exchanges with police, the 37-year-old Atlanta man said, “That has me equally upset because we’re losing what we came here to do, which is to protest peacefully.”
The ‘Occupy Movement’ is now in danger of being branded as the ‘Troublemakers, Druggies and Provocateurs’. Their message is completely lost in all of the violence, the daily headlines have become their new message. The pictures and video have become all too graphic and all too familiar. It has become the ‘Hippies and Homeless CampOut’ as the troublemakers are out in full force. Tent cities are becoming the breeding ground for the bottom feeders looking for an opportunity to party, get high, burn buildings and generally cause chaos and confusion- all in the name of peace, harmony and equality.
There are legitimate concerns here, people have seen their lives turned completely upside down by the economic crisis. Wall Street demonstrations and protests have been going on since the Revolutionary War, they’re really not that new at all. However, this movement has caught on like no other as it continues to build steam throughout cities and towns across America.
Popular movements have always been an undercurrent of American society. However, the Great Recession has exacerbated the problems we all face until they reached crisis level: according to a Gallup Poll, 21% of Americans cannot afford to buy food, getting close to levels not seen since the Great Depression.
‘The Occupy 7 Deadly Sins’
1. Unemployment is causing severe stress among families, professionals and students that simply cannot find work.
2. Student loans may become the next bubble that bursts. Young people who’ve invested years to obtain a degree, now have the debt and can’t afford to pay it.
3. Food prices continue to escalate beyond any reasonable means, people are eating more unhealthy today than ever before.
4. The real estate market is drowning families throughout our country. Foreclosures have become the new norm as ‘house values’ continue to plummet.
5. The shrinking of the ‘middle class’, it’s now the haves and have nots.
6. People believe the rules of the game have changed. It’s become a contest between the 99% and the 1%.
7. The debt ceiling fight and partisan politics have infuriated people when they see how out of control Washington has become.
Former President Bill Clinton said, “The movement needs some tangible goals” and compared Occupy Wall Street’s situation with that of Arab Spring protesters in Tunisia and Egypt who helped topple authoritarian governments but now have to become a part of the formal political process.
As Occupy Wall Street continues its course, it will become critical for them to get the rank and file organized and on message and to get rid of troublemakers. Enough with the camping and the chanting, if Occupy Wall Street wants to make change, they need to engage in the democratic process. Let me remind you that early on, the credibility of the Tea Party was questioned as they were not taken seriously until they started positioning their representatives in the media and political world. The Tea Party knew that our democratic system relies on elected officials that represent their constituents. Supporting candidates sympathetic to their cause of running for office are the only way to bring their mission to fruition, as we all witnessed during the recent debt ceiling negotiations with the Obama administration. With its strong push for fiscal responsibility, the Tea Party changed the course of history.
If you truly want to make change, shooting your mouth off and burning buildings is not the answer. The time is upon Occupy Wall Street to get engaged in the process.
About Malcolm Out Loud. Social and political news commentator Malcolm Out Loud is also the host of WebTV show Malcolm Out Loud TV, an acclaimed motivational speaker, founder of Brink Thinking and the author of the book Smash The Competition. More about him atwww.MalcolmOutLoud.TV