Dear Occupy and Tea Party: Let’s Do This Thing Together

Giełda na Wall Street
Hey man, whose flag is that?

I support Occupy Wall Street.  I’m also hip to the fact that Wall Street occupies both sides of Congress and, let’s be honest, the war chests of everyone (everyone) (update: my bad, not EVERYONE) running for President.

I was talking with a friend today about the differences and similarities between Occupy and the Tea Party.  Both are mad at Wall Street and Washington, but for some reason, neither of them publicly go after both with equal vigor.  The Tea Party centralizes its energy for saving the middle class on the problems in Washington; Occupy uses its middle-class-saving-indignation on, well, occupying Wall Street.

Both movements say they want to save the middle class. Both were born of the middle class.  Both have fringes motivated by things that have nothing whatsoever to do with saving the middle class.   Corporate media, beholden as it is to the fortunes of Wall Street and the talking points of political candidates, would do well to hold up the narratives that both groups are crazy,  that one is racist and fascist and the other is socialist and lazy.  It’s in the best interests of the media conglomerates, of CEOs, and of the entrenched political culture that these groups continue to define themselves in opposition to each other.  The Tea Party would do well to occupy Wall Street.  Occupy Wall Street would do well to Occupy The Capital.

Obviously, members of each group have political goals that don’t easily mesh.   But the larger narratives sound like all the economic and political complaints you’ve ever heard from everyone you’ve ever known:  the government is broken, corporations are killing us, special interests (that nexus of corporate and political incest) run the country.  The Tea Party and Occupy agree on that much.  If  “that much” is enough to start an even larger conversation about the futility of our political parties and the false options occupying our political system, Wall St and Pennsylvania Ave will finally have Main Street to answer to.  Who says it can’t happen?  Ideologues and everyone invested in maintaining the status quo.

2012 has to be different.  America has to be different.  I refuse to live as an adult in a political and economic system that infantilizes every important issue to the point of absurd farce.  I refuse to leave that kind of social chaos to my children.   We’ve been an adolescent nation for so long.  It’s time to grow up, get serious, and put these labels away.  We all know who the really bullies in the school yard are, and together, we are bigger, stronger, and smarter than they have ever dared to think.

13 thoughts on “Dear Occupy and Tea Party: Let’s Do This Thing Together

  1. There’s one guy running for president who doesn’t want the wars… and his message started the Tea Party movement.

  2. Well written article, I appreciate your point of view and thought you expressed it clearly. I agree with a lot of what you said and would like to add my thought.

    First, to clarify your statement: “I’m also hip to the fact that Wall Street occupies both sides of Congress and, let’s be honest, the war chests of everyone (everyone) running for President.” Check out Ron Paul’s donors… not one big bank (link at bottom).

    Secondly, the one thing that will keep the tea party separated from the OWS movement is the different solutions to the problem. OWS is looking toward the government to save them from Wall St, where the tea party wants to save themselves from government and it’s masters (Wall St).

    I may be wrong, but as long as the occupy protesters look to the government to get at Wall St, they will never see a real solution. Sure, some politician will write some legislation that looks to give them what they want, but those with the money will always get the upper hand in the end.

    If you take the power away from government then the money has no power, the power would be in the individual. The tea party is fighting for the 99%’s right to freedom from special interest controlled government.

    Thank you for your time.

    Ron Paul finance report for 2012 campaign:

  3. I hear you on Ron Paul. Thanks for the link. I think the one area where we should all expect the government to have some measure of usefulness here is in fixing broken laws that allow predatory lending and encourage the ridiculous power of special interests.

    thanks for your comments!

    1. Yes, we need government to fix the problems it has caused, I am only weary of those protesters I have seen calling for increased taxes on the rich based only on the fact they are rich. Or the ones that say the government should eliminate corporations. Those are both dangerous powers being offered to a dangerous government,

      We need a more simplified tax system that does not give politicians the ability to reward their friends (i.e. GE) and punish their opponents.

      Thank you again for your comment. I agree with you that for too long people have been focusing on where we stand on opposing sides of instead of finding common ground and actin on that. Maybe the time is coming for the general public to put aside our differences and fight for what we have in common. Lets see if we can start it here, would you agree to fight with me for:

      1. Removal of tax code favoritism with a simplified tax code.
      2. Reduce the size of federal government by eliminating redundant agencies.
      3. Balancing our national budget with the plan to eliminate national debt, with the plan to lighten the burden of government on future generations.

      1. Those are good places to start. And I’m keen on Chad’s summation below, that the nexus of overly powerful corporations lobbying an overly powerful government is the double-bind that most of the country is in.

  4. One might argue the extent to which he is running for president, given that he is not even on most people’s radars, but if I understand Buddy Roemer correctly he does not accept contributions from any corporations.

    This is the unifier I have heard that makes a lot of sense: Members of the Tea Party are angry about overly-powerful government. Members of Occupy Wall Street are angry about overly-powerful corporations. Neither would be so much of a problem without the other; what is killing this country is overly-powerful corporations lobbying an overly-powerful government.

    Nice sentiment about 2012 being different, but do you honestly still have hope of that happening?

  5. I love how anytime the Presidental Candidates are mentioned ANYWHERE on the internet- a Ron Paul fan will come flocking.

    It makes me really happy.

  6. I can discover no political evil in suffering bullies, sharpers, and rakes, to rid the world of each other by a method of their own; where the law hath not been able to find an expedient. ~Jonathan Swift

  7. I’m keenly aware that I’m liberal because I’m not rich or ignorant enough to be conservative. The horrific truth is that someday I hope to vote Republican without shame.

    “It always seemed strange to me that the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, aquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and selfinterest are the traits of sucess. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.” ~ Steinbeck

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