Occupy Wall Street Protests--A Return to Wall Street Ways and a Republic Lost

Occupy Wall Street Protests--A Return to Wall Street Ways and a Republic Lost

October 9, 2011

Americans have lost their belief in redress and recovery which is ever more evident by the continued energy that builds behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. The problem is that no one in Washington is listening—yet!

The Occupy Wall Street protests have taken up the voice for a generation of lost opportunity where the financial sector, with regulators, and elected officials in collusion, inflated, manipulated and profited from a credit bubble that burst to destroy our economy
and likely create a lifetime of diminished prospects and lower earnings.

The fact is that the collusion between Wall Street and elected officials continues despite having cost Americans their jobs, incomes, home equity and savings.  This suffering and reality of poor prospects serves mostly at this point to highlight the toxic combination of elected officials craving for campaign cash and Wall Street.

The last three weeks the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement’s encampment has remained dug in on Lower Manhattan and their protests have spread to cities around the country including Washington DC.  However, political opportunists are now beginning to cast the movement as a partisan, class warfare movement--which it is not—to deflect responsibility for the dysfunctional economy which perfectly mirrors our economically corrupted congress.

Over this past week, the OWS Movement has begun to find their voices and they’re continuing to grow in numbers too.   The New York Times reported one protester saying, "Wall Street got bailed out, and we all got sold out!"

A perfect example of a return to Wall Street ways that clearly validates this protestor’s claim was reported in the Wall Street Journal just this past week as bankers lobbied for and then used U.S. funds that were intended to jump-start growth and employment to repay the government for a separate unrelated program. The Small Business Lending Fund was meant to spur small-business lending and stimulate job growth,  however, bankers chose to use the funds to their own benefit and repay the government--at a lower rate--for the bailout funds the banks had received under the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).   These are the types of programs and maneuvers that are continually lobbied for, misused, and gone unnoticed by most Americans who, these days, are far too busy trying to survive.

In these early moments of protest, it is important to understand that our media has not been particularly helpful to the OWS Movement.  Rather than attempt to distill and clarify these voices of discontent or show the validity of their protests, mainstream media has described the movement as a tourist attraction and marginalize those voices of outrage as if it were the job of protestors to draft legislation.

It is of paramount importance in these first moments of protest for Americans to understand that the OWS Movement is not a partisan movement and that the partisan dialogue is wedge--a strategic distraction intended to defeat the legitimacy of this protest.

The OWS movement is, as it should be, an attempt to fix the Republic-- more precisely, to restore a representative democracy.  Fixing what is wrong with our Republic is not about finding the middle between Left and Right or the incoherent “bipartisanship” in DC that has brought us the sort of justice system that executes Troy Davis, that has brought us the war on drugs, and to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and which has immigrants taking children out of schools, leaving their families behind and fleeing states like Alabama, Utah
and Arizona, to name a few.

The fact is that the Republic that our framers gave us no longer works for the Left or the Right.  The Congress that was intended and promised in Federalist 52 was dependent upon the People alone--not upon Funders who, over the last 15 years, have corrupted our elected government to the point that the people don’t matter.  Americans agree and 75% of us now fully recognize that “money buys results in Congress.”

The distraction is partisanship.  Americans, with the help and energy of the Occupy Wall Street protests, must come together to find a way to resist a business model that depends upon “making us hate each other.”   The manifestation of this discontent first began in Madison, Wisconsin and while the message of discontent continues to distill into more succinct and understandable phrases the passion of the people who love this country has become ever more recognizable.

The fundamental corruption of our Congressional system has reduced its viability to a game that serves as nothing more than to be a content provider for SNL, The Daily Show and Colbert Report.  Our hope is that the OWS Movement becomes a mechanism to call out this corruption and unite a movement that demands that we change the system that permits this corruption.

The country needs a shift in the emphasis of public policy that is away from the self interests of elected officials who protect banks and corporations, toward the root changes needed to stop the corruption--election campaign finance reform and transparency are at
the root of change needed and most critical to our future.

I urge the voices of the OWS Movement and the 88% of Americans who no longer have confidence in what Congress does to cut at the root of this corruption--restore representative democracy.

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