Saturday, October 8, 2011

Co-Opting the Movement

I don't know about you, but I got a little bit uneasy when I saw this from the OccupyAtlanta bunch:-

In a very democratic and very polite way, the Atlanta demonstrators (who, somehow, didn't sound at all as though they were from either Atlanta or Georgia) refused to allow Rep John Lewis to address the crowd.

It's not as if Lewis, a Democratic politician, were trying to appropriate the moment as something to use for fund-raising purposes on his website. Lewis is a real American hero, who knows a fair bit about social justice movements, civil disobedience and all the difficulties both can entail. He bears the scars to prove it.

But as a fellow Southern liberal and Facebook friend, Maria McGowen, mused, I wonder if this crowd would have denied Michael Moore the right to address the crowd. Moore is always to be found wherever a crowd of very young and very politically naive people are gathering, usually with a book to hawk. Moreover, I wonder if Ron Paul, would have been turned away.

I understand this movement's anxiety at any opportunistic politician, whether Democrat or Republican, who might want to appropriate this apolitical movement either for his or his party's gain; but Paul seems to be one politician who's done just that and with one political battlecry of "End the Fed!"

Since Paul's not afraid to appropriate this movement, perhaps the protestors who view him as something of a folksy maverick willing to cut down the Fed, amongst other things, should do some reading about the other issues Paul endorses so strongly.

Yes, I'm worried about Ron Paul's influence, but I'm also worried about the apolitical nature of this protest in turning these people away from the voting process altogether. There is power in civil disobedience, but the real power lies at the ballot box and the polling station; and whilst the vocal EmoProgressive Left has spent the months subsequent to the 2010 Midterm defeat, piling more mindless, crap criticism on a Democratic President, those erstwhile closet crooks elected to Republican gubernatorial positions throughout the US - your Scott Walkers, your John Kasichs and your Mitch Daniels, amongst others - have been gradually chipping away at actual voting rights for various citizens - namely students, the poor and the elderly ... and, it goes without saying, racial minorities.

They know that a low voter turn-out will, like the Mid-Terms, result in a Republican victory.

Even the Boy David (as in Atkins, sometime elected co-chair of the Ventura County Democratic Party) kinda gets it.

The 99 percent will get satisfaction and justice one way or another. Hopefully it's able to happen peacefully through the political process. Because if not, a frustrated public will look for other means of solving its problems.

And that possibility is something that neither the Left nor the Right should be embracing. Once the public completely loses faith in the political process, that's when the danger of both bloody socialist revolution and of fascist takeover are at their peak. Given the growing political divide in this country, the balance of revolution could tip in either direction.

That's about right, although I'm not at the point of troll concerning fear of a revolution the way Atkins is getting all breathless and ahahaha-ing to the point of having to breathe into a paper bag.

There'll be a revolution, all right; and it'll happen in one of two ways: either the EmoProgs & Co will be disillusioned and stay home, in which case, we'll have the Republicans in power again - and, remember, these are defiantly Rightwing Republicans who follow the extremist philosophy of Ayn Rand (as does Ron Paul), or someone like Paul will get the Republican nomination and he'll be savvy enough to get another dangerous dimwit like Dennis Kucinich to run on his ticket; and just enough of the same sort of people will unwittingly join forces with the Republicans to see in this combination. The revolution will come afterward, when these selfsame purists wake up to find that the price they paid for legalising pot was the loss of a woman's reproductive rights, or the repeal of the Civil Rights Act, or the end of Social Security and Medicare.

It's important to know another thing too: that maybe the Republican party isn't that fussed about the fact that their GOP Presidential candidate field is stocked this time with assorted cartoon characters and loons (to use a word Bill-O is fond of). After all, they'd be quite content with keeping the House and taking the Senate.

They know that there's more than one way of skinning the cat. They also know that it's always easier to blame the black guy.

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