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Forum Post: Where Is Occupy In The Election?

Posted 11 years ago on Sept. 8, 2012, 9:49 p.m. EST by DrJekyll (-143)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement


When not reading original source tax material, which is rather absorbing, I try to keep track of a number of things, one of which is the Occupy Movement. I haven’t seen that much about them except on Facebook. I know some of them were planning to head to the Republican convention in Tampa this week. My impatience to get more of the pulse of the Occupy movement finally inspired me to ask my cousin, Ellen Hemrick, who would be a card carrying Occupier, if they handed out cards to carry, which I am pretty sure they don’t, to give me a guest post. I did not get anything on specific tax policy out of her, but I think the concerns of the movement form much of the background for the ongoing tax policy debates. I asked Ellen to provide a short bio:

Ellen Hemrick is a mother, a speech language pathologist, and an occupier living in Naples FL. She bathes regularly, lives in a house – not a tent, and has no criminal record.

There is Hope and Change but it is Outside on the Street

Fear. This election is made of it. There is the fear of the Republican agenda – what will happen to women’s rights, minority rights, the middle class, Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, etc. if Romney/Ryan get elected? It might get worse but these are already in such bad shape….

There is the fear that “liberals” are taking “your hard earned money” and giving it to lazy people who don’t work. Actually, cash welfare has been reduced almost eight-fold and many states use the federal welfare money for other programs. Fear that they will take your guns or your church away. Actually, democrats have long abandoned any gun control agenda and the NRA is second only to big oil in lobbying power. That they will make you part of the underclass you measure your self-worth against. This may actually be true but both parties would do this in a heartbeat – they already have.

There is the fear of spoiling an election by voting for the Green Party or another candidate that is more in line with our values. Remember Ralph Nader? Were you a “Nader trader?” Does everyone blame you for the Iraq war? Could it really be the fault of voters who voted their conscience?

With fear one can make people vote against one’s own interests. Fear makes us blind to reality. We have a lot to fear. We have already lost our benefits; many have lost their jobs, their homes, their savings, and their pensions. Threaten the rest and we quake. We fear for our kids, what employment we have left, what housing we have left, what health-care we have left. We will cling to whatever hope you dangle.

The hope is on the street. Outside the convention there are thousands of protesters who hold the road map to change and prosperity. They are begging you to look beyond the two party charade and to a future that can be created by the people. They realize we are all the underclass and that the current system is designed to keep it that way.

Any movement that dares to question the honesty of BOTH parties, the unchecked flow of money in BOTH parties from corporate overlords, the complete abandonment of democracy by BOTH parties, and the media control by the corporations who actually run this country would obviously engender fear and panic in the oligarchy. The mass arrests, the evictions from public property, the entrapment, the hysteria over “black bloc” anarchists, are all proof we are on the right track. Occupy has been smeared, infiltrated, framed, and marginalized so that you won’t hear the message. Take the case of Dave Gorczynski, a 21 year old occupier who held two signs in front of a Wells Fargo: “If you give a man a gun he can rob a bank. If you give a man a bank he can rob the world” and “You are being robbed”. He was arrested for bank robbery (charges now dropped) and domestic terrorism (currently being held as a terrorist). He told the truth.

The Tea Party certainly doesn’t inspire fear in the establishment. Their self destructive politics appeal to the powers that be. They were embraced by the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove and given millions of dollars to immediately run candidates. Occupy, in contrast, refused money from George Soros and Ben and Jerry’s and Move On.org and refused to participate in a political process that is so inherently corrupt that no real reform can come of it. The Obama campaign adopted some of the rhetoric to co-opt occupy but then expanded the government’s power to detain, entrap, and hold American citizens indefinitely as terrorists.

Ultimately, Occupy was abandoned by people who sought real change but left it hoping to find change in a broken system that has repeatedly failed us in the past. They are all afraid of losing the election. The democrats are afraid that criticizing Obama or demanding that he actually follow through on promises will lose the election. The libertarians are so afraid of some ‘federal” bogey man that they would prefer corporations run our country. That makes no sense until we factor in the fear. The fear is manufactured. The election is a puppet show. The fear is keeping people from talking to one another civilly. It has made it impossible to take real change seriously.

The American people are united on many issues. They overwhelmingly believe that the Citizen’s United decision was wrong. Take the results of a 2012 survey from the Brennan Center: More than three-quarters of all respondents — 77% — agreed that members of Congress are more likely to act in the interest of a group that spent millions to elect them than to act in the public interest. Similar numbers of Republicans (81%) and Democrats (79%) agreed. Only 10% disagreed. The people overwhelmingly want government to be smaller, more responsive to local problems. Yes, even liberals – have you read the Green Party’s platform? The people want to stop wasting money on endless wars and byzantine agencies set up to justify all actions of the government regardless of the reality in our communities. We have become a nation that allows the poisoning of our food supply and the private prison industry to be our greatest achievements. We manufacture weaponry and create wars to sustain our corporate greed for oil and peddle these goods worldwide while decrying the immorality of other nations mired in war and poverty. We scoff at education and critical thinking, preferring to solve our problems with handguns and partisanship.

Oh yeah, partisanship. It’s all a ploy to keep us from seeing the scale of the crisis; the moral, ethical, political, environmental, and human crisis that is our current corporatocracy. There is more consensus than anyone wants us to believe. There is common ground for new solutions in this country: traditional liberals would happily agree to get rid of the department of education like libertarians want to if it would mean adopting the Finnish model of education where teachers were the best and brightest and paid well and students were taught a critical thinking curriculum in approximately half the time our kids attend school in the US. We would all agree to gut entitlement programs if there was true universal health-care and jobs for all. People of both parties have no confidence in our banks and the Federal Reserve to act in our best interests. Both the occupiers and the tea partiers say they want money out of politics – do either have the guts to actually get it done? Not if it means associating with each other. As long as we fear, hate, and avoid each other, the two party system will continue to provide the pawns for their corporate masters. We will keep fighting over the scraps they feed us and stop agitating for real change. The NDAA and the drones and the Patriot Act will have been for nothing. There will be no resistance – divide and conquer – we fight ourselves.

The two party system and reliance on mainstream media are the first things that have to go in order to free us. Next we have to stop propping up our oppressors. Stop banking with them, stop buying their products starve them as much as you can. Then start talking to your neighbors. Yes, those on the other side, those crazies, those leftists, those fundamentalists, those people you think aren’t even human. They DO think like you. They do have similar wants and needs. Show them they were wrong about you. Together we can identify the problems – the solutions will follow. Real change comes from outside the system. I dare to envision a government by and for the people. I occupy. I don’t know who I’ll vote for. I don’t know if it matters. I do know it won’t help anything get better. We need to reach out to our neighbors and talk. The people united will never be defeated.



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[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

This is a super essay! I hope everyone takes it to heart.

I think of the situation in my own family. Many people consider me as a hard core lefty. My brother on the other hand his a hard core righty. Funny, when we get together and sit down at a table for dinner, we talk. We agree to the same things. We live life in a similar way. Deep down our values are the same. We happened to only have taken different roads in life.

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 7 years ago

''Democracy, in this late stage of capitalism, has been replaced with a system of legalized bribery. All branches of government, including the courts, along with the systems of entertainment and news, are wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state. Electoral politics are elaborate puppet shows. Wall Street and the militarists, whether Trump or Clinton, win.

“Capitalist accumulation requires for its movement to be surrounded by non-capitalist areas,” Luxemburg wrote. And capitalism “can continue only so long as it is provided with such a milieu.”

''Capitalism searches the globe to exploit cheap, unorganized labor and pillages natural resources. It buys off or overthrows local elites. It blocks the ability of the developing world to become self-sufficient.

''Meanwhile, workers in the industrialized world, stripped of well-paying jobs, benefits and legal protections, are pushed into debt peonage, forced to borrow to survive, which further enriches global speculators.''

''The consequences of not carrying out a revolution against corporatism are catastrophic. This makes Luxemburg vital. She warns us that in a crisis, the liberal elites become our enemy. She cautions against terror and gratuitous violence. She urges us to maintain open, democratic structures to ensure that power rests with the people. She keeps us focused on the ultimate savagery of capitalism. She understands the danger of imperialism. And she reminds us that those of us committed to socialism, to building a better world, especially for the oppressed, must hold fast to this moral imperative. If we compromise, she knew, we extinguish hope.''

qui tacet consentire ...

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

I find it not so much an issue about socialism versus capitalism. Both work when properly done. In fact there is a symbionic relationship. One supports the other in a functioning society. The real problem which both the left and right are fighting against is institutionalized corruption. Some call it Corporatism.

[-] 1 points by ImNotMe (1488) 7 years ago

''Capitalism'' has now mutated into High Finance Crapitalism / Kaputalism and it is antithetical to Social Justice; Environmental Sustainability and - Basic Ecological Principles. The Profit Motive has now given way to an avaricious, larcenous Rentier Rationale where Neoliberalism's strictures left unchecked .. will enslave us all, with ONLY a Fascist Jackboot keeping The 99% in check!!! Resistance Is Existence and is Fertile!! ''Corporatism'' = Fascism, per Mussolini's definition! My leftist rhetoric aside, please consider:

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 1 points by JasperAdams (12) 11 years ago

this site shows occupiers have a strong support for Obama.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Re. "this site shows occupiers have a strong support for Obama." ! REALLY ?!! How so ?!!!

How long have you been here in order to have come to that erroneous / faux conclusion ?!!!

'maith ar maidin' et pax ...

[-] 1 points by JasperAdams (12) 11 years ago

i have been an occasional reader for the last few months. what i see is that those with the most merit, the ones with higher points and who have been here the longest, favor a vote for Obama. i do not see many Ron Paul advocates here like hchc mentions above.

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

Here's a little explanation. every time someone posts a comment, they get 1 point. No one else has to think it's a good comment. there are also those who have multiple screen names, who are able to vote themselves up. There are about 4 people on this sight who seem to live their entire lives on this sight, constantly posting pro-Obama propaganda. You don't have to look to far to see who they are.

[-] 1 points by JasperAdams (12) 11 years ago

yes i see. i gained 29 points just by posting. i only got 4 up votes. it would be better if posting a comment did not give a point.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 11 years ago

Yes, they should start at 0.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Do you 'really' believe 'Ron Paul' is sympathetic to The 99% ; 'OWS' ; its objectives & its 'm.o.' ?!

fiat lux ...

[-] 1 points by JasperAdams (12) 11 years ago

No. i don't believe there are politicians who work for the 99%.

do you believe in Ron Paul? are you not voting for Obama?

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

I wouldn't waste my vote by voting for Obomber or Romoney but I would consider using my ''vote to not vote' for either and thus to vote for neither but turning out for the aggregate, total 'turn out' and leaving the ballot blank or overwriting with the name of Third Party Candidates &/or policies that I may desire. Re. Ron Paul, I see him as a closet Ayn Rand reader & possible believer and thus could never vote for him.

Consider : Manually Counted Paper Ballots are the last safeguards of what little democracy remains.

ad iudicium ...

[-] 2 points by JasperAdams (12) 11 years ago

the last safeguard for democracy is not manually counted paper ballots. the system is broke. voting is of little consequence. the last safeguard for democracy is protesting in the streets to bring the system down. that is why i joined occupy.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Good. I agree. I have spent the last few hours on this forum trying to think out loud over at least three threads, on the matter of voting and democracy. Yes - PEOPLE are the "last safeguard for democracy" but also try to consider that Manually Counted Paper Ballots and a Clear Paper Audit Trail can be a extremely useful to The 99% - which is why this is being resisted & subverted everywhere in The U$A!

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 2 points by JasperAdams (12) 11 years ago

i do not see how manually counted paper ballots help. the system is broke. no amount of voting will fix that. the problem is not fixed elections, the problem is that every party is corrupted because the system is corrupted.

[-] 2 points by jph (2652) 11 years ago

exactly, how does the 'correct count' of a vote for one of two corporate fascist parties make a shred of difference ? either way you get one or the other flavor of the corporate-fascist agenda of the 1%. Just look at both conventions and their 2/3 majority audible votes,. utter farce.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Please see below. Thanx.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

The "Anti-Both-Vote" is my 'work in progress' meme.

Expanding 'the theme of the meme', with : 'On how to vote ; ultimately have your vote counted but yet NOT have to vote for either 'Corporate Captured, Cloned & Controlled Candidate' !!!

The politicians wouldn't care. They wouldn't care if they got just by one vote so long as they win but ... of course 'the politrickians' don't care ... but the numbers themselves would speak loudly to those with ears to hear and that 'those' could be 'Most of The 99%' !!! Added to those who did/do note vote (now nearly 50% already!), the sham of US demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy could, should and would unravel under the weight of the contradictions of its own internal mathematical logic !!

Manually Counted Papers Ballots are a 'sine qua non' of Any Democracy !

Thus, consider - The Key may well be in The Clear Paper Audit Trail !! Ergo, The Emperors Have No Clothes & We, The 99% Can Say So ! It's not really a solution let alone panacea that I suggest here - just an empirical (ahem) insight to the start of A Shift of Conciousness that we all so crave and need to move THE 99% forward.

pax et lux ...

[-] 1 points by JasperAdams (12) 11 years ago

Manually Counted Papers Ballots are a 'sine qua non' of Any Democracy !!!

only if the system works. if not, then protesting to destroy the system and replace it with something else is the sina qua non.

in a broken system, manually counted ballots can be deceiving. they serve as a trick to make us believe we have control over our lives and our future.

[-] 0 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

You're right ! I''m wrong !! Lets just burn the Whole Fkn Thing Down !!!

REVOLUJAH Baby ; Death to Barbie & Ken with permanent exile to Cindy & her beau !!

It's broken ; lets reduce it to rubble ... The Afghanistan Model !

Yippy Kiy Aye & all that ...

[-] 1 points by JasperAdams (12) 11 years ago

it is not the afghanistan model. it is the ows model. the afghanistan model failed because change did not come from the people. it came from another country by force.

don't you think the system is broke and needs to be replaced?

[-] 1 points by JasperAdams (12) 11 years ago

agreeing is very important to you? you seemed to doubt my every word until you agreed with me.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Don't get grumpy so easily. Read & reflect. Comments are optional.

[-] 1 points by JasperAdams (12) 11 years ago

we can all read and reflect. i am not grumpy at all.

[-] 0 points by DrJekyll (-143) 11 years ago

Sad notion. Isn't it?

[-] 0 points by JasperAdams (12) 11 years ago

i think many people who claim to support occupy fail to understand what it is.

[-] 0 points by DrJekyll (-143) 11 years ago


[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 11 years ago

I see in the youth right now two distinct factions: The occupiers on the left and the Ron Paul kids on the right.

They have shown they can work together on big things.

And they have shown that their core belief that this current system is a bust and needs to end as being their number one goal.

It will be interesting to see what everyone is up to in 20 years.

[-] -1 points by DrJekyll (-143) 11 years ago

Although many have been rejected by some Occupy protesters, there are still a substantial amount of Paul supporters within the movement.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

Re. some neo-natal thoughts on "Occupy The Election", please see the article and thread on :

ad iudicium ...

[-] 0 points by DrJekyll (-143) 11 years ago

I support realistic solutions to change our current system. Anything else is a cop out as it is setting the bar to unattainable heights. Reuse/Recycle including government.

[-] 1 points by shadz66 (19985) 11 years ago

REALISM is for WIMPS ! Here's to 'Unreality' !! We need 'Hyper-real Solutions' for Quasi-real problems - maybe !!! Please do feel free to share IF you have any idea as to what I'm talking about cos as at this stage ... I ain't writing or thinking ; I'm channelling Philip K. Dick & Emma Goldman.

ab absurdum ...

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) 11 years ago

Thats what I see as well