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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Scenic, SD

Herman Cain made one of those blunders that reveals the intellectual and moral depth of the political party he is a part of.  Among the many things he has said which has received a wtf-are-you-talking-about? response was his contention on Face The Nation that the Occupiers on Wall Street and elsewhere are motivated by jealousy and envy of the rich.  He claims people like Cornel West of Princeton are out-of-touch with the real world when they  criticize his dismissal of racism as a factor affecting people's lives.  And his prescription for the Occupiers is to work hard enough to be able to afford a Cadillac rather than protest banks and their executives.

The first question Cain needs to answer, but won't be asked in the staged debates, is, "Work hard enough at what, when no jobs are available?''  The second question is whether the pizza ovens at Godfather's are the real world he is referring to.  A colleague of mine, a black physicist who was in graduate school at the height of the civil rights movement, says Herman Cain thinks the solution to America's economic troubles is to make every American an Uncle Tom.  Working hard means shucking, and shuffling, and saying "yes, massa" to the Wall Street  bankers who plunged American into the recession it is in.  That is Cain's version of  trickle down economics.  

But Cain's representations of the Occupy Wall Street protesters is consistent with the general GOP-conservative response.  It is not based upon any kind of knowledge or evidence of what the motives of the protesters are and who they are. The GOP strategy is to dismiss the Occupiers as the offal of American society, the unwashed and mentally impaired.  This tactic can be illustrated in the South Dakota Wart Collage, which has not deviated far from the obsessively malicious, petty, and stupid slanders established by Pat Powers as its modus operandi.  It begins its slander against the the Occupiers in Sioux Falls with: "Do you smell that? Sniff, sniff. What is it? Nope, not John Morrell. It’s occupy Sioux Falls. Those insightful protesters who have forgotten to bathe and bring porta potties to Wall Street have decided to bring a similar movement to South Dakota!"  We are reminded that John Morrell was recently fined and upbraided for polluting the air and water, but there is no penalty, except the the derision of the informed and educated, over polluting the language and the digital media which transmits it.   

However, the local yokels get their inspiration from national-level purveyors of infantile malevolence like Red States' Erick Erickson who wrote, “Suck it up you whiners. I am the 53 percent subsidizing you so you can hang out on Wall Street and complain.”

Although the right wing is quick to heap all manner of scurrility on Obama for not more effectively dealing with the recession, it cannot bring itself to acknowledge the cause of it--the greed, class presumptions, and foolery of the Wall Street compatriots.  Nor can it acknowledge its effects on the millions of people who have been thrown onto the path toward poverty.  The GOP abhors coherence.  The Democrats keep trying to argue with and reason with the opposition and are led into incoherence.

The Occupiers focus those who are attacking democracy and its opportunities through an economy that militates against the middle and lower economic classes.   What the Ocuppiers are protesting is apparent to anyone whose head is not welded into their lower colon.  And as a supporter of the Occupiers put it,  "We tried voting and were shown that it doesn't work."  What makes the protest so disconcerting to many is that  the Occupiers recognize that the political system is too broken to be useful for any honest democratic endeavor and must be circumvented if any portion of liberty and justice can be salvaged for ordinary Americans. The steadfast conservatives fear that the protests are a rejection of the political tradition that is so broken and excludes the working classes as worthless and inconsequential.  They fear that such rejection may means that the protestors will regard the right-wing as the same kind of enemy that the right-wing regards workers.  They fear the rejection of the  privileges that their notion of class bestows on the plutocracy.  And so, they resort to the inane scurrility that the upper economic classes reserved for the lower in the undemocratic past.  

Obama's attempt to maintain reasoning cordiality with the Republican Party is the real reason behind his slumping poll numbers with progressives.  Among blacks, his approval rating has slipped from 83 percent to 58 percent.  However, the media does not delve into what disapproval means and what the polls are actually registering.  Patrick Davis Consulting provides insight into what the polls mean through a  discussion with a Democratic pollster.  And the information revealed in that discussion sheds a great deal of light on what is motivating the Occupiers.  

Black voters have said they are "disappointed" in President Obama.  Davis quotes his conversation with the pollster:

“However, we discovered that they were not disappointed in the job he was doing, but rather the job he was unable to do. Like all of us, they wanted hope and change and thought Obama was the person who could finally give it to us. After a year and half, they had determined that they probably would not be getting change – not because Obama wasn't trying, but because the system was set up for him and anyone else to fail. They were disappointed because they felt that if Obama couldn't change the system to make it work for people, then no one would ever be able to.”
And like many, Davis sees this as setting up a potential loss for Obama:  

Black America climbed the mountaintop only to find a sheer cliff on the other side. Barack Obama might be their man, but if he can’t do it, no one can. And if Obama can’t convince black voters that progress is possible, then he can’t convince them to turn out in 2012 like they did in 2008. And if that’s true, then Obama can’t win reelection. Game over.

Many of the young people who supported and voted for Obama feel the same sense of hopelessness.  They are not disappointed in Obama or his agenda.  They are disappointed that the Republicans have been able to erect such obstacles and impediments to accomplishing what Obama promised.  And they think that if he cannot do it, it can't be done.  So, if anything is to be done for American workers, whether laborers or professionals, it is time to examine the efficacy of our political system and martial the force of the masses affected by it.  It may well mean the end of American democracy as we have come to define it.  

And that end might be accomplished by occupying Scenic, SD

1 comment:

larry kurtz said...

Likely related:

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States