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Forum Post: Do you want us to get somewhere or would you rather we go out with a whimper?

Posted 2 years ago on Feb. 23, 2012, 5:55 a.m. EST by ARod1993 (2420)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

If all you're looking to do is get attention (which is fine if you don't really want to change things long-term) then by all means be as loud and radical as you want to be. The problem is that less than 1% of this country is radical in the way that OWS is radical, and the other 98.99% (I'm excluding the very small group that profit long-term from letting this mess continue to snowball because they'll never change on their own) is going to listen first and foremost to the people who know how to walk their walk and talk their talk.

If you want to win over the moderates (or at least enough of them to get a viable long-term hold inside the system) then you're going to have to find people who can couch your message in terms of the values and the institutions that they hold dear. Many of them most likely hold fairly progressive ideas when it comes to individual policies but haven't yet put the puzzle pieces together as far as what that means for their ideological and political stance, and will stay the hell away from us because we're too radical. That seems to be a fairly common trend; people start to wake up to what's going on but haven't quite shaken off the old buzzwords and rallying cries.

What we need to do if we want to take advantage of that dissonance is to redefine those buzzwords and rallying cries. In other words, instead of agreeing that these ideas are radical and new, present them as not really all that radical at all. Welfare for our poor is not about socialism or taking from people, it's a return to a long-standing American tradition of tight-knit communities and the ideal of "leave no man behind". Business regulation isn't a radical attempt to impede free commerce, it's a return to the proud Bull Moose tradition of Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders. Unions aren't evil monopolies, they're the insurance policies for ordinary guys like Ralph Kramden.

What I'm betting is that people are already starting to make those connections implicitly, but as of yet fear to vocalize these connections because they fear being branded communist or socialist and thus (since those are still dirty words) un-American and unacceptable. What I'm suggesting is that we strengthen people's allegiances to the specific policies in a manner similar to what I laid out above until people are confident enough to go out and vote based on those policies, and then provide them a movement and a slate of people whom they'll be comfortable backing.

The only way that's going to happen is if we get our shit together and put some sort of a face/voice and direction on this thing that isn't going to scare or piss off regular people. Rebranding the message takes care of part of that, but the other part has to be handled within the movement and has to do with organization. You need to find people who meet most if not all of these criteria (if they don't meet enough of them, train them until they do):

-People who can cross the boundaries between worlds, who may fully sympathize with and is considered by others (and themselves) to be a part of the movement but has access to and can put on all the trappings of the professional so as not to scare or piss off middle America.

-People with very sharp minds and a background in economics and finance, who when asked "How exactly did Wall Street screw us?" can provide an exact, technically correct answer.

-People who are very good at breaking down and parsing complex technical ideas for everyone to understand, so that they could walk anyone and everyone through the workings of Wall Street and K Street without losing accuracy and still producing a strong emotional response.

-People with insider knowledge and/or background on how politics and campaigns work, so that any political action mounted in the name of Occupy will have a serious shot at success rather than being a sideshow like Nader was.

-People who know how to unify and synchronize disparate elements of a movement so that all of the different arms are capable of working in concert toward a common end.

-People who are willing to get behind the idea of moderate, regulated capitalism and knows how to successfully sell that idea to a public that in large part may not necessarily be ready to hear it.

-People with enough personal authority that when they try to haul the anarchists and the communists back into line they actually succeed instead of being happily ignored or worse, getting dragged into a potentially divisive power struggle.

These are the people you want spearheading any and every initiative you take, and the message at the top is the one you want them selling as they do so. Find these people, use them as you must, and jump into the world of electoral politics and there is a very real chance that OWS could make Tea Party-size strides in the next couple of election cycles.

7 Comments

7 Comments


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[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 2 years ago

Any movement for radical change is going to attract radicals.

My feeling is the only way to effect change is to concentrate on what all of us radicals want, which is a more just, equitable, and democratic society and on working together to achieve those goals despite how we arrive at such deeply held passions.

And we need to take concrete steps to achieve those goals, which requires the hard work of organizing petition drives, voter registration, voter education, and plain get-out-the-vote on election day.

We can all agree that our system is corrupt, and it was corrupted by those currently in office, so that it necessitates turning out to remove all the incumbents, in the primaries first, then in the general election as well.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 2 years ago

"leave no man behind" is a Great phrase

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

Thoughts?

[-] 0 points by Spade2 (478) 2 years ago

Why not go out with a bang? e.i. Nukes!

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

You're assuming that Occupiers agree the this is a good thing:

there is a very real chance that OWS could make Tea Party-size strides in the next couple of election cycles.

[-] 0 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Like

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

Thanks!