Occupy Wall Street has reinvigorated Democrats throughout the nation and it’s making Eric Cantor very nervous. The House majority leader and a dull congressman took to calling the Wall Street protesters a mob warning about the “growing mobs occupying Wall Street and other cities across our country.” He went on to say that “some in [Washington] have condoned pitting Americans against Americans.”
The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart pointed out Cantor’s hypocrisy went it came to his Tea Partiers. On the Don Imus show Cantor said “The Tea Party is an organic movement. This is not some movement that started in Washington. It’s about the people.” Of course it is Eric, “your people” the one-per centers. In other words, if you are angry at Washington in general and blame the Obama administration that’s okay and it’s healthy dissent but if you are angry about the 1% in this country who have gotten ahead and continue to get ahead on the backs of the 99%, then you’re a growing mob.
Cantor isn’t fooling anyone. Cantor is nervous because he sees President Obama’s disquieted base no longer quiet. He sees a growing base that has reawakened, remotivated and newly inspired by the president and many in Congress who support their dissent. They also appreciate the fact that the president is making a concerted effort to put people back to work and they disagree with a GOP that believes that 1% of the population controlling over 40% of a nation’s wealth is a good thing for the country.
This movement has united thousands of exasperated Americans from his more progressive left to the moderate union members. Many in the president’s base who were upset with the president’s compromises have come back in full support. Rich Nazzaro, a special education teacher from Queens says “We need to put people back to work and put some spending cash back into their pocket whether it’s in the private sector or on infrastructure”. Paul Zitis, a retired Science teacher and life-long Democrat from New York City said, “I was upset with the president on a few issues but we have no choice, we have to kick the GOP’s *** next November. Today’s Republican Party has become the most oppressive, regressive, and unimpressive party in the history of U.S. politics.”
The new Democrat energy is also making the Wall Street bankers nervous. They saw how the Tea Party started from the same sort of low-key dismissive movement but then became a force in American politics successfully pushing the GOP further to the right. The Wall Street crowd is nervously wondering if the growing “Occupy” movement will shape politics and public policy much the same way. Hence, it will be much tougher for them to engage in the type of high risk, high reward business practice that they are accustomed to. Many of the Wall Street executives are old enough to remember the last major public uprising in this country – the Vietnam War. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in all states and cities throughout the United States. The end result was the demise of a presidency and a congress pulling the “financial plug” of the war.
Indeed, Cantor and the Wall Street bankers should be nervous. The size of the movement is growing and has spread to 150 cities nationwide – San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Portland, and Seattle to name a few. Conservative media outlets like Fox News and WABC talk radio are nervously trying to dismiss the movement through ridicule calling the protesters snot-nosed kids, left-wing loons, and unemployed hippies. This writer can tell you first hand that he didn’t notice anyone listening to psychedelic rock or on acid trips but did notice a lot of well-spoken college students, middle-class family members from all ethnic and professional backgrounds and seniors.
On the other hand, Fox was correct in their observation that many protesters are unemployed. What they conveniently leave out however is that the protesters represent Americans nationwide who are looking for work but and are having difficulty finding a job. These are our neighbors, friends and family members who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. Their company decided to move overseas to get cheaper labor or the businesses they worked for closed down because of the recession. At the same time, they see the banks, Wall Street firms, and corporate America making record profits and huge bonuses and not hiring. On top of it, these firms do not want to share in the sacrifice while programs and safety nets that are the lifeblood of the poor and middle class get cut. The protesters feel the 1% doesn’t’ care if the 99% continues to get left behind and they don’t appreciate a GOP that supports the growing social inequality in America.
Eric Cantor and the GOP may believe that corporate America, Wall Street and the big banks pushing their buttons in Washington is good for the country, but the demonstrators don’t. Occupy Wall Street has reinvigorated the Democrats.They don’t want a plutocracy anymore that has left them behind. They are Democrats and want democracy returned to the people.