In response to the media's ongoing criticism that the Occupy Wall Street movement was leaderless and lacked concrete demands, a commentator on Monday's evening news said that a movement at this early stage ought not to have concrete demands. She added that a successful movement needed a broad base of supporters, not leaders at the top.
Our nation's leaders have been so divided and so dysfunctional when faced with serious problems-the debt, the economy, the environment, health care, the wars, education. I think it's great that people, from "the left and the right" are finally talking. That in itself is a tremendous and meaningful accomplishment.
For over a year, the Tea Party cry has been, "take back this country." I hope that is what is happening here. I think most people, regardless of "right" or "left," share the same basic concerns: a dysfunctional government, the debt, the fragile economy, the environment, the endless wars, inadequate health care, poor education, a crumbling infrastructure, etc. I believe that there will be no real answers as long as a wealthy few control the government through money and the access it buys. This is no longer a country "of the people, by the people, and for the people," but by the rich and for the rich.
This protest is not "class warfare." (The upper class has already won that.) There are good wealthy people and a few good politicians. It is a protest against greed. How can a capitalist society control greed? In a democracy, that is the role of government, through laws and thoughtful regulations. Unlike the present government and the ruling class, at least Occupy Wall Street is practicing what it preaches, democracy, by listening and discussing issues peacefully and respectfully. Still people are going to ask, "What are the solutions?" I don't think that anything meaningful can happen as long as the military and the wealthy run this country. But there are answers to this situation: get big money out of politics and regulate lobbyists. Demands without the power to implement them will lead to more frustration and anger. Democracy, as embedded in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, is being undermined by our Supreme Court (by decisions such as the Citizens United case that gives corporations the same rights as people and thereby takes away the principle of one person, one vote). Once we have a functioning democracy, we can stop the endless wars and cut the military budget to a rational size, let's say that of China and Russia combined, about a quarter of what it is now. It is not a lack solutions that is the problem. It is the lack of democracy. Democracy here. Democracy now.
There will be a rally to show support for Occupy Wall Street and to start a discussion in this community on Friday October 28th at 5:30 PM at the Federal Building in downtown Elkins. Please come. Please spread the word. Please be peaceful and respectful.