Oct 13, 2011

Occupy Wall Street vs. Tea Party

Though the verbiage for their complaints that both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall St use are very similar, the difference between the two camps is the relationship with their antagonists. The Tea Party is complaining towards Federal Government while Occupy Wall St is directing complaints towards high finance. Tom was right that the two movements were distinctively different in that the Tea Party came from vague frustration against Democratic party controlled government (explicitly out of the Tax Day protests of the 1990s & Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign) while Occupy Wall St grew out of vague frustration against corporate America (more from an economic justice perspective exemplified from the organized labor jumping on their side while even liberal elected officials still remaining on the sidelines).

Because the nature is so different between the two camps it is also the reason for the different reaction from mainstream corporate media. Tea Party movement is asking for changing the personnel, the elected officials, while letting the institution unchanged in contrast to the Occupy Wall St movement seeks to correct systemic errors within the economy not just changing the principle decision makers. Occupy Wall St recognizes that the system is corrupt and wrong, not just the decisions along with the decision makers.

Sorry Roger, but what I believe Tom was looking for was your acknowledgement that you were incorrect in your estimate of the situation, and acknowledgement of the differences between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall St. The reason for the lack of cooperation between the two camps is in large part that the Tea Party movement has been wholeheartedly co-opted, while the Occupy Wall St movement is still being ignored. There being no need for the status qua to have two populist movements, so despite their stated goals being so similar they would never combined forces as the leaders that have arose from the Tea Party have already been purchased by the America Works, Tea Party Express and the Koch Brothers.

The lack of a cohesive leadership structure within the Occupy Wall St movement has actually been a strategic decision, since the herd can't be struck down or discredited like a spokesperson or cult of personality could; this sustains the movement as this prolongs and frustrates the corporate mainstream media coverage, as they would prefer to over simplify the situation to be more easily digested by the audience and the audience be more easily sold as content to advertisers. So CNBC's Rick Santelli can bad mouth the home owners that got hooked by the "angelic" big banks sold them mortgages that they could never afford for destroying the global economy; Fox News could start promoting Tax day protests around the country only after the first Democratic president is inaugurated after Fox News was established. So corporate mainstream media was on board from nearly the beginning of the Tea Party movement.

Likelihood of Occupy Wall St continuing past the 1st week was next to zilch, the fact that it persisted is sign that the American people are more inclined for the drastic systemic changes that Occupy Wall St is proposing compared to the tinkering with the edges that the Tea Party is proposing. The Tea Party movement may take the enthusiasm from people that feel like the political world is unresponsive but Roger Ailes, Dick Armey, and David Koch aren't interested in making them more connected to the political process, just more profit for the 1%-ers.