The New Democrat Online

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

VOA News: Activists Seeking to Capitalize on 'Occupy' Protests


I believe at least a majority of the country supports these protests on Wall Street all across the political spectrum. Wall Street is not very popular with any political party right now, except for maybe the Libertarian Party and Tea Party. That's why we are seeing large protests all across the country against Wall Street and even corporate America to a certain extent. I wish these protests would reach Congress as well, both in the House and Senate. To get them to start moving an legislating and even coming together.

Occupying Congress and the members who are bought by Wall Street, at least in too many cases, would make more sense, than to simply try to occupy buildings where a lot of investing is done. I mean if this was a real occupy movement Left or Right and this time it is certainly coming the Left, if not Far-Left, you go where the money is so to speak. And occupy the people who take the money from the business's and investors you are say are destroying the American middle class. I know that sounds like commonsense and what does that have to do with American politics, probably nothing, but something to think about. 

And hopefully OWS will at some point, with a 13% approval rating of Congress and with the people who officially who approve of Congress either dead, living in Mongolia, or in a coma, because who could in their right mind who is familiar with our government, actually approve of the job that the U.S. House and Senate are doing right now. There's plenty incentive for them to do that, if they have the guts to take on their political bases. 468 members of Congress between the House and Senate are up for reelection in 2012. 

And if 2012 is another anti-incumbent election, then a lot of those members in both parties could be looking for new jobs after election night. Seriously, the scariest thought for any career politician, perhaps especially someone in Congress, is looking for a new job, Which is why pissed off Americans should be scaring the hell out of them right now.  But right now they are focused on Wall Street so I'll focus there. What these protesters have in common is that they are independent. Meaning they aren't Democrats or Republicans in a lot of cases. 

Not one national organization is running these protests and putting them together. But a bunch of different political organizations perhaps working together. And there's also political diversity within this movement. Socialists, Libertarians and some Liberals are all part of this movement, perhaps even some true Conservatives, who are fed up with bailouts corporate capitalism and want to see change in our economic system.A diverse somewhat American melting pot of political philosophy. Who have found at least one issue to not try to beat the heads of people they normally don't agree with.

The political diversity in this movement is positive for them in this sense, it indicates that there's broad support for it. That there's not one political party behind it and that the country wants to see real change in our country and our economic system. But it's a problem as well, because there isn't a consensus in what change and reform should look like. Conservatives and libertarians would like to see government less involved with our economic system spending less and downsizing and less regulation and no more bailouts and tax less. Socialists obviously are the complete opposite of that and perhaps would like to nationalize some industries, especially banking and health care. 

Liberals would like to see reform with our entitlements, cutting the deficit and debt, infrastructure investment, tax cuts for the middle class, expand free trade. And bring our foreign troops home from Afghanistan, Iraq and other places. There's significant support for what Conservatives, Libertarians and Liberals want to do. Socialists have the most ambitious agenda of everyone, perhaps put together. Having a political coalition of Liberals, Libertarians, Conservatives and Socialists is not an odd couple. More like a melting pot put into a big stew, that makes people want to vomit after eating it. 

Socialists want to return America to the 1950s as far as tax policy. Tax rates starting at 25% and going up to 90% and people like socialist economist Richard Wolfe have been very upfront about that. As well as nationalizing our healthcare system, nationalizing our higher education system. With the Federal Government now paying for everyone to go to college at taxpayer expense. As well as other things. If you think America has a big government now, put Socialists in charge and this government would look like a midget that is shrinking in comparison to what they want to do.

There's potential for a movement here as being against something, but that's the easy part. The question is what do you do instead, what do you and what do you replace it with. And all of these political factions have their own agendas that they would like to see pass. This is not a governing coalition, but more like a protest coalition similar to what the Ross Perot movement of the 1990s. So I don't see a consensus right now in what to do instead after the partnership between Wall Street and the Federal Government is broken up. 

And that can only happen with either getting private money out of federal politics. Can't be done without a constitutional amendment, because the Supreme Court would throw it out. The only other alternative I see is full- disclosure which is very difficult to pass. Because it would require public officials to release to the public who they deal with and how much money they receive from them. Asking a career politician to release their political contributors, is like asking an obese food addict to give up eating cold turkey for a week straight without supervision. Good luck with that and let me know how it works out.

Until there's a movement that has broad support in not only what its against, but what they want to instead and can get elected and reelected and puts proposals on the table that becomes law, We are stuck where we are in gridlock, with a do nothing Congress with its first eye always on the next election and how to get their base to the polls and votes for them. But look at the bright side, when things aren't going well for you and you are in trouble, you'll always have Congress to make fun of and say, "at least I'm not as bad as those people and know how to get my work done".