Posted 8 years ago on Sept. 8, 2012, 9:49 p.m. EST by DrJekyll
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.