Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Gale Winds of Change

The gale winds of political change have begun to blow. These winds come every so often. They are born of idealism and anger and when they pass, the political landscape is altered; sometimes beyond recognition. The first of these winds was the Tea Party. Comprised mainly of older, well educated, and mostly conservative remnants of the middle class, they burst on to the scene to protest the government excess, corruption, and the revolving door of the corporate/government complex. They opposed the bailouts of Wall Street and the bank industry and the abandonment of the Middle America. Their mass movement was at first ignored by main street media. After it became apparent that the winds of change were going to be sustained, corporate media jump into action to ridicule the Tea Party as "fringe", "radical", “extremist” and full of the "crazies". The majority of Americans ignored the commercially sponsored organized propaganda from the talking heads of corporate media and pursued their own investigation and discovered a different truth.

Now, another, perhaps most telling wind has begun to blow. This wind calls itself "Occupy Wall Street", and like the Tea Party, it has spun off hundreds like itself. This wind condemns much of what the earlier tempest did---corporate greed, government ineptitude and corruption, destruction of the environment, unfair taxation, and outsourcing of jobs. But the key difference is that this storm brings with it the energy of youth. The Tea Party never contained much of the youth. The "Occupy Movement", if one is to call it that draws its strength from the younger crowd, as well as the unemployed and underemployed blue collar; the working poor; the lower middle class; as well as many others.

Thus far, the corporate media has largely ignored or under reported what's happening in places like San Francisco, Chicago, and, of course, New York City. These protests against governmental, if not societal failure are spreading like wildfire. There are literally hundreds of similar groups springing up across the nation. At its heart, are the failure of both political parties and the capitalist model of economic pillage and imposed serfdom. The "99%" of Americans, who received no government bailout; who received no loans; who received no relief from toxic mortgages and foreclosures. But corporate America did, and the American taxpayers paid for it while Washington listened to their K Street paymasters. We've seen no curbing of illegal immigration. There's been no fence built, yet we've told the federal government to build one dozens if not hundreds of times. We still have to request to hear our own language.

We are seeing the first effects of global climate change. Does it really matter if it’s man made or part of natural cycle? What no one can dispute is that something is happening. The results are the same. We must take steps to alter our societal behavior, if only to slow global warming down. Corporations have done much to stall or derail any serious efforts to create cleaner energy sources like solar or wind. On the other hand, they've given us "feel good" media about all they've done out of a sense of corporate citizenship, so why blame them? Gotta love public relations and clever folks in marketing.

So where does that leave us? We have two distinct groups basically seeking the same goals. One is the Tea Party, who tend to be older, better educated, and slightly more affluent. The other is the Occupy groups, who seem to include more college age students and blue collar individual. Together, they represent what’s left of the middle class, blue collar workers, and lower income individuals. Their object of their combined frustrations is Washington, including both political parties, and the corporate elite who run Washington. Yes, there are differences besides their demographics. The Tea Party is more conservative, though not as extremist as the media portrays. For instance, they would like to see a small federal government. The other appears to be more liberal leaning. They would like to see a more responsible though not necessarily smaller government. But there is common ground and common cause between them. I urge both groups to explore ways to combine, if not coordinate their efforts. I urge you dear reader to plug in to which ever group you feel most comfortable with and work for the change we need to save this country for our children and their children. The time is now.

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