Some people have said they miss my political commentary. Well, you get what you ask for.
If you’re a fan of the mainstream media (and I used to be), you’ll be surprised to find out that a group of people (upwards of several thousand) have been “occupying” Wall Street (well, Liberty Park). They are now into their third week. You didn’t know that? Not surprising. The MSM (and, yes, I have been tempted to call it the “lamestream” media, but I don’t want the association) have been noticeable in their absence of coverage. Oh, when the arrests started they were quick to point out that the police were handling the “disruptive protesters.” Only Democracy Now!, Free Speech TV, and Current TV have devoted any time to what is motivating this true grassroots movement, as opposed to the various Tea Parties who have been bankrolled by the Koch Brothers.
So, what is motivating the people who call themselves “Occupy Wall Street?”
For one thing, the Wall Street Robber Barons came close to tanking the economy by taking advantage of an almost regulation-free financial environment and got bailed out and not one of them has spent a single minute being held accountable for that.
For another thing, the top one to two percent of this country have decided that they need to keep their wealth–not spend it on job creation, what an effing myth that is–so they can live higher on the hog, and the middle class, which they disdain and have decimated, and the poor–who got that way through all fault of their own–can wallow in the gutter of American Exceptionalism.
For yet another thing…no, I think those two things about cover it.
The minute I saw an NYPD white shirt named Anthony Bologna pepper-spray women who were committing the crime of standing on a sidewalk, I wanted to grab my kaffiyeh and head up there. When I saw a twelve year old girl in handcuffs, I wanted to set fire to the barricades and shut the effing place down. When I watched the police trick demonstrators onto the causeway of the Brooklyn Bridge then arrest 700 of them for blocking traffic, I was ready to tear the place down.
Fortunately, with age, I’ve been able to temper those urges. Forty years ago, I marched in some of the greatest demonstrations in the history of this country, and we turned the opinion of the country on a war, and we brought down a lying, corrupt president. Then, we moved on. We got jobs and houses and mortgages, swelled the middle class, and we let others–though not many of them–do the demonstrating thing.
Now, we find our place in that great middle class has come under attack from people with scads of money who have decided we need to pay for everything–their tax cuts, their wars, their third or fourth house, their new yacht–and we also need to give up our benefits and our rights to collectively bargain because they don’t like those concepts. They want to get rid of Social Security and Medicare because people should pay for their own retirement and health care–that’s what they’d have you believe. The truth is they don’t like letting anyone who really works for a living into the upper class. Only they get to live the high life and how dare we mere peons aspire to emulate them and live comfortably?
I agree that in some ways we need a revolution, but it has to be a revolution of the ninety-nine percent, not that envisioned by the Tea Baggers, who, in their ignorance, believe that the Koch Brothers aren’t using them for their own political ends. We have lost our compassion in this country. We blame the poor and the dwindling middle class for the woes rampant, unregulated capitalism has created. We hate anyone who is not rich, white, male, Christian, and born here. This is the America the Koch Brothers, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, et. al., have made and want to enshrine.
Support Occupy Wall Street by joining them in person or virtually. Wake up and smell the revolution or be crushed by the top one percent’s Humvee.