It seems such a short time ago that a seemingly disparate group of people with a loose political connection but a shared set of ideals, came together all around the United States to rally against a mindset and government that they felt had abandoned them. Since then, the Tea Party has grown and it has crumbled. With no actual plans or platform, the group has become bloated with hate-spewing members and mired in controversy, mutating from an interesting idea to a disgusting joke. But that first sentence could easily describe another socio-political movement currently happening in this country: Occupy Wall Street.
Truly, liberals have been protesting about many of the same things the Tea Party has since the Fall of 2008. But being the ineffectual lot they are, no one really listened. Sorry, but it’s true. When Conservatives and Republicans want to get something done, they do it. They ask for forgiveness, not permission. And when I say they ask for forgiveness, I mean they lie and connive and do everything they can to avoid admitting they’re wrong. Liberals and Democrats, like President Obama, unfortunately spend so much time trying to please everyone, even their enemies, that they rarely accomplish what they set out to. I’m not saying its the wrong approach, just that it rarely merits results.
Luckily, it wasn’t the poster board wavers who created OWS, but Adbusters, an organization who knew its way around culture jamming. Mix their game plan with the groups of liberals already protesting around the country, and now you have a powerful contingent of people. Fueled by the modern world of digital photos and videos, and constant internet support, it was only a matter of time before the whole country had to take notice. It was a plan no doubt inspired by the social-media fueled rebellions in Iran, Egypt, Libya, and the like, and though it would be foolish to compare our plight to theirs, we must never forget: This fight is the American people versus a small group of wealthy, power-hungry insurgents who value their own prosperity over the stability of the country as a whole.
And that’s how this movement will succeed where the Tea Party failed. We have no leaders to be taken down or discredited. We are not defined by politics or parties. We are an idea, a group led by a belief. If we wish to succeed, we must solidify our platform, and make sure we all know what we stand for. This is more than anti-corporate or anti-capitalism. Those are small pockets within the larger issue. Occupy Wall Street won’t do. Even Occupy means nothing out of context. 99% is the movement. We are an almost absolute majority of American citizens. We are a group of people coming together to defend our rights and freedom. Pieces can be removed and damage can be dealt, but the only thing that can truly stop us is ourselves. If we keep fighting/thinking/talking/enlightening, no one can stop us.
We are the 99%. And so are you.