Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The difference between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Miami and everywhere else? Fear ... by gimleteye

The Occupy Wall Street'ers around the nation and the world have presented an awkward situation for the Tea Party, now primarily institutionalized as a wing of the GOP. Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard University Law professor, made an interesting comment on the NPR Diane Rehm show yesterday (carried locally on WLRN): that the Tea Party had started out as a movement to end business as usual and to demand improvement in the operation of government but had quickly dissolved to represent the extremist wing of the GOP that wants to eliminate government, regulations, enforcement altogether.

The Tea Party has not made the leap, at least on the institutional level, to question the role of corporate power and authority. That is the bedrock of the OWS'ers protests. Where the OWS'ers tie politics and elections to the abuse of corporate wealth and authority, the Tea Party is silent. Indeed, billionaires like the Koch Brothers (whose profits depend on lax regulatory authority regarding clean air and clean water) are substantially funding the Tea Party, elected officials and its candidates.

Why? Because they are afraid. "Tea Party voters are more likely to fear change and harbor negative attitudes toward immigrants," reads an August AP report of a 4,500 telephone poll conducted with registered voters in North Carolina and Tennessee and presented to the annual conference of the American Sociological Conference. "Tea Party supporters also overwhelmingly viewed President Obama as "not at all" like them and 66 percent of conservatives who support the tea party movement say he is not a Christian.

While there are plenty of OWS'ers who are protesting the policies of President Obama, there are none to observe hating Obama or fearing him. Fear is a great fault line of any economic upheaval. It is proven time and again throughout history. It has also been one of the great achievements of the radical right that now dominate the GOP: the messages of fear have been carefully cultivated through Fox News and its commentators, as well as the entire panoply of paranoid talk show hosts on radio and TV. Fear pulls ratings and voters.

Occupy Wall Street, Miami and elsewhere grasp that "the only thing to fear is fear itself", the words of FDR during the depth of the Depression. It took the Second World War to ignite the US economy, but we are far past that now: our economy is already exhausted by the costs of wars on multiple fronts. We should not be afraid to confront the costs of Reconstruction.


Mensa said...

Great! You show the whole truth. Your right, the tea party started like this but they have been taken over by the rich. Koch brothers. Continue to tell us the truth.
I was in WW2 and I thought we were fighting for all of us, not just the very rich.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...I wonder why the billionaires Hollywood Studio Owners, Media Conglomerates Moguls,(Ted Turner)Apple and others superstars are not included in this type of protest. How come nobody mentions them? Isit because of special interests, why are they getting a pass....lots of money there...just wondering...?

Anonymous said...

Once again, the Unions are at play here. The Herald ran another story today about funds being collected and they're working with "a 100% union" bank.

I'm glad they're doing what they're doing, but come on, they are a Union supported/funded group. Just say it, that's the only part I don't like.

Anonymous said...

Just a reminder, the biggest PAC donors to Obama's campaign war chest in 2008 were as follows:

University of California $1,648,685
Goldman Sachs $1,013,091 - WALL STREET
Harvard University $878,164
Microsoft Corp $852,167 - CORPORATION
Google Inc $814,540 - CORPORATION
JPMorgan Chase & Co $808,799 - WALL STREET
Citigroup Inc $736,771 - WALL STREET
Time Warner $624,618 - CORPORATION
Sidley Austin LLP $600,298 - CORPORATE LAW
Stanford University $595,716
National Amusements Inc $563,798 - CORPORATION
WilmerHale LLP $550,668 - CORPORATE LAW
Columbia University $547,852
Skadden, Arps et al $543,539 M&A, Tax and SECURITIES LAW
IBM Corp $532,372 - CORPORATION
General Electric $529,855 - CORPORATION
US Government $513,308 - WALL STREET ENABLERS
Morgan Stanley $512,232- WALL STREET
Latham & Watkins $503,295- LAW
Source:Open Secrets

Anyone who does not lump Obama into this problem sees this movement as either a means to gain political position for Democrats. (like it is claimed the Koch bros have for Republicans) or they are just plain intellectually dishonest.

Does not anyone get that the most powerful man in the US is attached to the hip of the very people who you protest. Yet, 95% will vote for the man again.

Mensa said...

When you are running for a powerful office every body wants to be your friend and whether you like it or not they will contribute to you and in most cases to those who run against you also. I f you are a good guy you do not let them control you no matter how much you give you.

JaneMiami said...

The real power would be if Tea Party and Occupy People would unite to move towards demanding campaign finance reform. Wow, just fix that and both groups might get a whole lot more of what they want.