By Timothy V. Gatto
Hopefully many of you are realizing exactly what options remain. If we can’t change American politics through the ballot box, what alternative is left?
When the media asks people in the Occupy Movement what it is they want, the answer given by those that understand what the movement is all about, give their reasons for being there but add that they are not speaking for the movement, only for themselves. This is the purest form of democracy. Claiming to represent anyone else besides you is the correct way to respond. Most of us have many of the same goals, but it would be presumptuous to say that anyone represents the movement.
One thing has become abundantly clear, and this is probably the most important part of the movement; most of the 99%’ers are not asking the United States government to do a thing.
This is the part that the mainstream media cannot comprehend. Where is the list of demands from the protesting people? If you ask any one of the 99%’ers, they will give you many reasons why they are there, but they won’t tell you that they demand anything from anyone.
There are reasons for this. There are reasons why we are not asking Barack Obama to do anything. One reason is because many don’t want this movement to become hijacked by any political party as the Tea Party was by the right wing, most notably the Koch brothers. We don’t want an Occupation express bus financed by George Soros or the Democratic Party. The time for party politics has come and gone.
We did all of that and we elected “Hope and Change” in the personage of Obama. What we got was a clone of the Bush Administration. We got more war, an expanded Patriot Act, a President that empowered himself to assassinate anyone he deemed to be a threat (including American citizens), the shameful destruction of a society in Libya and the murder of it’s symbolic leader, bailouts for the richest and largest financial institutions in America, and so much more that we protested and campaigned against.
The rich got richer and they openly showered themselves with unimaginable bonuses for stealing from the American Taxpayer for Banks and financial entities that were deemed “Too big to fail”. We have since learned that much of the bailout money was used to prop up financial institutions and corporations in other countries, most notable, countries in the EU. When the oversight committee, represented by Elizabeth Warren, asked where the money from the bailout went to, the banksters refused to answer. This is indicative of the so-called democracy now in power in Washington.
I could go on and on, but I believe that most of us have realized what is really happening in the United States. One of the best explanations of how things work in America is presented in Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story”. The current state of affairs in the U.S. is untenable. This is precisely why ordinary Americans have decided to take to the streets in protest. The way we describe ourselves says it all: “We are the 99%”.
Today on the MSM they reported that Barack Obama has finally reached the 1%. I don’t believe he could have been pleased to be represented in this light. To be portrayed as a 1%’er is to be portrayed as a selfish vulture.
If the movement is not demanding a laundry list of demands to the government in Washington, than what are they attempting to achieve?
This is the quandary the media is facing. They are trying to portray the Occupy movement as a disorganized, disgruntled group of people on the fringe of society. Yes we are disgruntled, but we are not disorganized, nor do we represent the “fringe” of America’s society. We are mostly average Americans who have had to bear the brunt of the burden for the rich and powerful that played a form of reckless “casino economics” where anything went because there was no oversight or regulations to stop them. Glass-Steagal had been rescinded and banks teamed up with insurance companies to bet the economic future of America away with economic voodoo like credit default swaps and derivatives. Nobody stopped them because they virtually owned most of the politicians in Washington. They still do.
With the Supreme Court’s decision from the case brought by “Citizen’s United”, corporate money can now flow into the campaign coffers with hardly any meaningful restrictions. This means that Representatives and Senators can now be bought in the same way as buying a puppy from a puppy farm. We have always had mutts in Congress, but now Congress will look more like a kennel than a functioning part of our democracy.
Early on in 2008, when I disclosed that Barack Obama’s largest private campaign contributor was Goldman Sachs, few bothered to think anything about it. In fact, I was kicked off many Democratic websites for calling Obama a liar when he vowed that he would take no corporate campaign donations. Looking back, I can understand how desperately people wanted the “Hope and Change” that he was promising and the anger directed towards me for trying to spoil the party.
These are just a few of the reasons that the Occupy movement refuses to demand anything from the government in Washington. It’s almost insanity to expect them to stand up for people that don’t have the money that will enable them to keep their jobs and their power. They will actually spit in our face and believe that nobody will notice — like the day when President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize and in his acceptance speech he ratcheted up the war in Afghanistan. How naive do they think we are?
So how will the movement achieve its goals of having a government in Washington that represents the 99% and turns away from the 1% that now owns Washington?
Can we accomplish this through the ballot box? The answer is no, because what kind of people will be presented to the electorate? I can say without reservation that the candidates will be virtual employees of the 1% that now run this country, corporate candidates. These candidates will not give a damn about the 99%.
The kicker in this is, after years and years of seeing this nation ship its industry (and the jobs it brought to Americans) overseas to make larger profits for the 1%, after seeing wars fought without a declaration of war by Congress based on lies and propaganda and watching our civil liberties become eroded by the Patriot Act, The Military Commissions Act and the John Warner Defense bill that allows the President unlimited use of any State’s National Guard for police purposes in the event of a declaration of Martial Law that the President can now declare without any authorization from Congress, why should we believe the way our government now does business will change by voting for any of the 1%’ers employees?