Occupy Wall Street: The Tea Party of the Left

I haven’t commented on the Occupy Wall Street ‘movement’ yet, basically, because I hadn’t made up my mind as to what to make of the phenomenon.  But, I’ve finally come to a conclusion: it’s the twin sister of the Tea Party, but on the left.

We have a lot of anger in American politics these days.  And, I’d say it’s justified.  Things are going horribly.  We’re mired in two foreign wars we have neither the desire nor ability to win.  Economic growth is so stagnant that the unemployment rate has remained hovering just over 9% for over a year now.  The right has hated the President from the moment he was sworn in, and the left feels betrayed by him.  And even more daunting, for the foreseeable future, nothing looks like it’s going to get better.

Hence, the utter saturation of the American body politic with rage.  It’s on the left, it’s on the right, it’s everywhere.  Now, we’ve just seen its manifestation on the left.  That it has taken this long for something to coalesce on the left is no surprise, as Democrats are a notoriously unorganized bunch.  Frankly, and keep in mind I’m copping to the label of a proud liberal, conservatives run circles around Democrats when it comes to organization.  Always have, but I don’t think they always will.

That the Occupy Wall Street ‘movement’ is an indication of the growing anger on the left is undeniable.  But there comes a point when it’s simply best to stop.  Same with the Tea Party.  The bottom line is this: rage is not a suitable alternative for intelligent policy.  Yes, this country is angrier than hell, and it’s not going to take it any more, but the fact of the matter is that anger, in and of itself is not going to solve a damned thing in America.

It’s incumbent on Americans of all political persuasions to check that simmering resentment at the door, come to the table, and craft sensible policies that will lift all of us out of this morass.  We liberals have an obligation to meet those on the right halfway, but that’s predicated on the idea that they’re willing to compromise.

So, America, lighten up.  That ‘holier-than-thou’ anger we’ve been toting around for the past three years has done nothing, absolutely nothing, to alleviate the pain that the vast middle of this country has been feeling.  It hasn’t yet, and it won’t in the future.  It’s time for the adults in the room to step up, assume responsibility and move this country forward, instead of egging on the tantrums that so many of us seem prone to.  Time to grow up.


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