Tuesday, October 4, 2011

To Occupy Wall St.

This is one of those "defining moments in our history" things. It's a large, coordinated effort from ordinary citizens, mostly young and mostly liberal, flooding Wall St. in protest of the practices of that major American financial institution. They have come up with their list of demands, which they intend to use as their rallying call for change and revolution in our country.

This movement, like so many others that have erupted around the world recently and in the past, is inspired by growing discontent about many things. Things like the disparity between rich and poor, the imbalance of power, the dismantling of our social safety net, the racial profiling and debate over immigration, and the rising costs of living and unfair taxation that plague the lower-working and lower-middle class. These issues have festered and grown in our society for a long time, and this protest is the culmination of people's desire for a new direction.

The new direction that the Occupy Wall St. movement is looking towards is one that will usher in the future of America. It abandons the old model, the view that America is and must be the best, and accepts more readily the idea that we are an equal part of a larger global community, that our wealth and power make us responsible and accountable instead of entitled. The new direction points to the imbalance of power and wealth in our country, how that is growing, and how our politicians do nothing to stop or slow the progression.

This may very well be the first legitimate expression of public dissatisfaction in decades, since the days of civil rights marches and anti-Vietnam War protests. It has the feeling of a pivotal moment in history, as though the voices that cry out together on the streets of New York City are channeling the will of a silent nation. This movement is about recreating Democracy, re-establishing a nation in which all are able to prosper and survive by their own effort.

I believe that this is a moment to be remembered and fought for. It is a movement that carries in its heart the future of our America. It is the right group, the future of our great nation, that have stood up and announced their intention to fight the financial institutions, the special interests, and the government. They have claimed freedom, Democracy, and Liberty as their standards of reform. They demand equality, justice, civility, and humility. This is not about bringing us back the America we remember. This is about bringing us into the America we deserve and need. It's about the future of our nation, our world, and our society.

We cannot go back to a time when America was the leader in everything. Technology is too advanced, the world is too small, and our competition is too fierce for us to be able to effectively compete. The Occupy Wall St. movement represents a vision of America free from the tyranny of this ideal and an embracing of our role as a functioning member of the global community.

Finally, the OWS movement is a movement sparked into creation by the continuing disaster of our financial situation. The lack of control over Wall St., the continued failure of Washington to address the issues that plague us, and the continued financial oppression of the majority of Americans has led directly to this confrontation. Many in America have been duped into fighting against their own best interests. The Tea Party in particular advocates against programs that directly benefit their members. Likewise, they call for changes that will further impact them negatively while handing more money and wealth to those who are already wealthy and powerful. This trend of trickle-up economics is a symptom of our economic times, and the OWS movement seeks to stop this trend and reinstate a fair, balanced way of doing business.

Let's pay attention, let's stand up in our own way and demand change, demand progress, and demand accountability. Let's strive to become greater than we are for the future of our nation. OWS is a step, a single movement that will spark more and lead us into a direction the benefits more and more of America. As it's strength and influence grows, so does the strength and influence of the people who support them. It's not about what people are entitled to or what people deserve. It is, simply and wonderfully, about what is right.

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