Do you miss my political blog posts? Me too. I've been silent, but I'm not sure why. Partly because I don't want anyone to dislike me for my worldviews. Partly because the biggest thing going on right now is Occupy Wallstreet and people are downright mean about this protest. Even reasonable people who are generally kind, are rude and unwilling to look past the people who are causing trouble to see that there is an actual movement here. But in the last three days, two people have sparked conversations with me regarding this current event, so I thought I'd tell you how I feel.
I think people are going a little crazy. It's been five years now since the market started to fall. In that time, people started to lose their jobs, their retirements, their homes. If they've been lucky enough to hold their jobs, their pay hasn't increased and their costs of benefits have skyrocketed (see: health insurance premiums). They are struggling, and they are frustrated. There is a group of people who are experiencing an opposite phenomenon, however. The bankers and the CEOs of major corporations are taking home record bonuses. In the hardest economic times since the great depression. Our government continues to protect them and their tax loopholes, because -- in theory -- they're creating jobs. We've actually labeled them "Job Creators." But the people in the first group I mentioned...well, they're not seeing those jobs. So they're not mad at people for being rich, but they're mad at the disparity between the situation of those thriving financially and the majority of the people who are struggling financially, and who are hurting.
Occupy Wallstreet (OWS) isn't sponsored or promoted by anyone. No big corporation or corporately-funded group is building smooth websites and putting out the OWS message. There is no group of billionaires behind it. Therefore, the message hasn't been clearly distributed. But that doesn't mean that it's not legitimate. It just means you're going to have to dig a little deeper to find it.
Increasingly, corporations and politicians are in bed together. The corporations pay politicians to protect their interests by way of funding their campaigns, and then the politicians make policy that does just that. They have to, so they get money for their next campaign. And the cycle continues. And I think people are sick of it. I think they're becoming aware that the corporate voices are more powerful than the peoples'. And know what? That's not democracy. That's a corporate oligarchy. I think that most Americans, right and left, liberal and conservative, are interested in preserving the democracy as laid out by the Constitution.
Therefore, I do not understand the anger against the protestors. I don't understand why we don't support not only their right to assembly, but their message. I don't understand why we can't all get behind what is happening here.
The very best part of this movement, in my opinion, is that people are involved. Probably the best way to make a difference, and promote good change, is invested citizens. Tea Party, OWS, doesn't matter. Be informed. Learn the issues. I think we'll find that we actually agree on some of this.
One friend posted this article today. It's written by a conservative blogger (columnist?) in the UK. They have a big battle going on over there, not completely different from the OWS movement in the US. They're calling it an extension of ours, but the conservative legislature in the UK is trying to take away many rights of the people in the name of budget reduction. They're as frustrated as Americans are. But this author said basically the same thing I've been saying: I think we actually all agree on much of this. We'll make more progress united.
So there. That's my political opinion du jour. You're welcome to comment here or by email or on the phone or come on over. I'll pour you something to drink and make you something to eat. And between us, we'll solve this thing. And I'll convince you that you don't actually have to delete me from your friend list this time.