Search This Blog

Friday, November 4, 2011

Occupy Movements

I feel like offering an opinion an the "Occupy Wall Street" movements that have now swept across the country like wildfire. What was once just a movement located literally on Wall Street has spread across the country, to numerous cities in America-dubbed "Occupy Oakland", "Occupy L.A.", "Occupy Atlanta", whatever the case may be.

After reading Rich Lowry's editorial in the New York Post, where he makes the case that the movement is primed for violence and it will only get worse, I have to say they are getting a very unfair depiction through most of the mainstream press. While the events of Occupy Oakland were despicable, I do believe the message of the movement was hijacked by violent anarchists and malcontents who saw a great chance to be disruptive and act completely out of line. Starting fires in the street and throwing things at cops is no way to get your message across.

With that being said, I don't believe the movement has ever gotten a fair shake. Since it is (generally) a leftist movement, of course there is a knee-jerk reaction to dismiss the protests by the likes of Fox News and other conservative outlets, but even besides that it seems the main thing you see from the protests are an extreme outlier. While it's easy to categorize them all as communist, lice-ridden, freeloading hippies, let's be careful before we overgeneralize. I believe the majority of this movement is peaceful and has good intentions.

Just like the Tea Party, which was also mocked relentlessly in the media and touted as a bunch of gun-toting, Obama-hating racists, the fact is the majority there too were just concerned Americans, worried about the direction of the country and the country's spending and massive borrowing. All you saw during coverage of Tea Party rallies were a few crazies, holding their signs high, covered in whatever slander happened to be on there. The same thing has happened to the Occupy movement. Signs that read, "Death to Capitalism" scream a communist message that doesn't resonate with the majority of Americans, myself included. You're never going to win me over waving a flag with a hammer and a sickle. But still, isn't the point being missed?

Just like I agreed with the main point of the Tea Party, that government has become oppressive and overly bureaucratic to the average individual and small business, I agree with the Occupy movement's message that this continued influence from the very few obscenely wealthy has corrupted our political process and our politicians. This is one area where we don't have enough government. The government should be there in situations like this to bust up these giant mega mergers and corporations who smother competition and the average American's say in the political process. We need to get the money, the driving force of what leads to these decisions that constantly favor the big over the small, out of American politics. This is the only thing that would bring back capitalism. True capitalism. Not the phony crony capitalism we have now. For capitalism to work and succeed, it is essential to have competition. And giant corporations crush any competition they can as soon as they can, for it impedes on their profits. We have corporate socialism now, and believe me, that is not true capitalism.

Big Anything is good for no one. Especially the average middle class American. Whether that be Big Government or Big Business, it's all turned out bad. We need to put a stop to it. We, the people. When Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech in 1910 he warned the American people about the concentration of wealth in very few hands, and how it would be a great detriment to America and out society. Roosevelt was constantly at war with the tycoons of his day, the J.P. Morgans and the Andrew Carnegies, who he saw as essentially greedy and overbearing, not respecting their workers or their labor, and trying to turn the tables more for themselves. Conservative ideologues would argue these progressive policies kill free market capitalism. Nothing could be further with the truth. And if it's that argument or Teddy Roosevelt, I have no problem standing with Mr. Roosevelt, in fact I take great pride in doing so.

No comments:

Post a Comment