With even the media hinting that Occupy is just the younger division of the same movement that the Tea Party is, the only real question about a coming merger of the two is the “when” – not the “if.” Or at the least what the timetable for the two working together in effect – even without merger organizationally – will be.
That timetable of such a merger is fairly obvious. It starts in only a month and a half:
1) Mid-December: millions of college students are freed up to join Occupy – as virtually all colleges go on winter vacation at that time. Most all of them are all too aware – from older brothers or sisters who graduated but found no jobs and ended up back home with their parents – that they share the same main reason for joining Occupy as those now involved in it. So they can try it out for a couple weeks then. So can millions more – high-school kids on winter break at that time.
2) End of first week of January – start of spring semester. Even in a “good” economy, it’s normal for many college students to drop out after the end of every fall semester – and it’s been that way for years. In this miserable job market, many more may well decide to cut their losses rather than just incur more student-loan debt – and instead quit college. Again, that will free up millions more to join Occupy – only semipermanently this time, as the weather gets better for outdoor activism by the week.
3) May-June -end of spring semester. Millions more college students – the overwhelming majority – take the summer off, for three months. And the vast majority of high-school students do – millions more. Great weather for the outdoor activism of Occupy. And this is the height of campaign season!
So the only real question of this timetable is whether “Occupy-ers” can last out the onset of cold weather between now and that mid-December start of winter vacation. And – if the Occupy in the nearby “college town” of Chapel Hill (photo) is any guide – a lot of the overall Occupy movement will be prepared enough to live outdoors in cold weather, even if the “flagship” Manhattan encampment shows no sign of that.
And the geographic “franchises” of Occupy and the Tea Party work together nicely. While the Tea Party never has been at all strong in liberal enclaves such as the urban Northeast and “college towns” such as Chapel Hill, Occupy has been doing great in those places from its start!