Elect Occupy Wall Street in 2014?

Search form

Elect Occupy Wall Street in 2014?

Elect Occupy Wall Street in 2014?
Mon, 6/18/2012 - by Carl Gibson

Photo: Mr. Fish/PoliticalCartoons.com

I'm becoming more and more convinced that the left's collective crying out for strong, effective leadership is going to have to come from the leaderful (not leaderless) movement of young people across America. The fellow Occupiers I've marched and protested with in Houston, Madison and Denver are all well-spoken, optimistic, visionary leaders in their own communities. None of us agree with those who represent us in office. We all agree government could work for the people if corporations were purged from the political process.

The Tea Party began as another leaderless movement that took to the streets to protest a lot of the same things we protest: A bought government, bailouts of the banks that put us in an economic freefall, and a government overly concerned with intruding into citizens' personal space and lives. Their massive rallies and marches attracted the media attention needed to change the narrative, then they proceeded to take over a major political party and make it bend to their every radical whim. OWS could do the same thing, and do it ten times better, even without the billions in corporate backing Tea Party ideologues like Scott Walker have at their disposal.

The 1 percent's source of power is the excessive, poverty-inducing wealth they've amassed for the last 30 years. They used to spend their wealth on racehorses and yachts. Now they spend it on buying elections. By taking away the 1 percent's excessive wealth, we take away their ability to buy elections. When we get corporate money out of politics, we weed out the politicians who were put in place by corporate money. By removing those politicians and putting in those who will work for us, we simultaneously scare those remaining in office to adhere to our agenda or lose their jobs, and we begin to fundamentally change the system for the better.

The 1 percent has always been in charge of government, but their unprecedented influence on our politics was largely brought about by the early 2010 Citizens United ruling and the Tea Party's electoral sweep of Congress, also in 2010. Since November 2010, obstruction has become a daily matter of course, and a radical agenda of deregulating the industries threatening the environment and the banks that caused our current depression is the only one those in power will accept. If the Tea Party continues their electoral successes the complete redistribution of wealth from the bottom 99% to the top 1% will be inevitable. The deficit will continue to rise as we continue to cut taxes for the 1% and wage endless war, and with a rising deficit will come an elimination of middle-class jobs and every existing social-welfare program and safety net for the 99%.

Democratic leaders in office are showing signs of caving on extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans, and putting the cap at $1 million instead of $250,000. Like many others, I'm disgusted by the cowardice of the Democratic Party and the great many Democrats who are blind servants of the status quo. The Occupy Wall Street movement represents the radical change needed in society, and could easily defeat corporate Democrats in primaries with a refreshing dose of economic populism that the establishment figureheads are too afraid to approach. And, once we take over one party, we can pave the way to taking over our government using all parties as our vehicle.

Occupy Wall Street's bold positions on civil rights, as seen in the demonstrations against the NDAA's indefinite detention policies and the invasive CISPA and SOPA legislation, could even be used against the Republican incumbents in primaries who voted for such authoritarian policies. Left-wing third parties, like the Working Families Party, are already gaining traction, taking over city councils and even putting candidates in state and federal offices. The Green Party is re-inventing itself as a populist force with a bold, sweeping vision for a new society with Dr. Jill Stein at its helm.

I agree with the OWS activists who say electoral politics isn't the solution. By itself, electing good candidates to office won't be enough to bring about all the changes necessary to make society sustainable for everyone. But kicking the worst offenders out of office and putting our people in is a hell of a start. The 2014 midterms are our year. If you don't like any of the candidates in office and don't feel represented by anyone running for office, run for office yourself. Don't let the proto-fascists run our government if you don't want them to. You can still vote: they haven't taken that away yet.

Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut. You can contact Carl at carl@rsnorg.org, and listen to his online radio talk show, Swag The Dog, here.

Article Tabs

A new in-depth report has revealed the influence the government-industry revolving door has had on Big Oil's ability to obtain four liquefied natural gas export permits since 2012 from the Obama Administration.

Forces both inside and outside the traditional labor movement united to campaign for a higher minimum wage for hotel workers in Los Angeles.

The Crosscheck purge list swamped GOP Senate margins in Alaska and Georgia, and likely provided the victory margins for GOP gubernatorial victories in Kansas and Massachusetts.

Among other human health and environmental violations, the TPP agreement will facilitate harsh legislation that further restricts free speech, privacy and innovation.

Attending Bilderberg is not a guarantee for holding high office – but it can often support a rapid rise to state power for politicians who impress the members and guests at the annual meetings.

Raleigh resident Bibi Bowman says the fact that a police officer called her and told her to take down a Facebook post is an invasion of her privacy and a thinly-veiled attempt to intimidate her into silence.

Posted 4 days 16 hours ago

Among other human health and environmental violations, the TPP agreement will facilitate harsh legislation that further restricts free speech, privacy and innovation.

Posted 2 days 18 hours ago
pipeline protests, Kinder Morgan, tar sands, tar sands pipeline, Burnaby, #BurnabyMountain

Standing on the side of the protesters, Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan vowed to wage war against fossil fuel giant Kinder Morgan.

Posted 4 days 16 hours ago

A new Financial Times survey shows the majority of UK voters believe that instead of using harsh public cuts to peel back the deficit, other forms of extravagant government spending should be abolished.

Posted 3 days 18 hours ago

Attending Bilderberg is not a guarantee for holding high office – but it can often support a rapid rise to state power for politicians who impress the members and guests at the annual meetings.

Posted 2 days 18 hours ago

GMO profiteers have an unusual marketing strategy – while most companies brag about their product, the GMO industry spends hundreds of millions to hide their product.

Raleigh resident Bibi Bowman says the fact that a police officer called her and told her to take down a Facebook post is an invasion of her privacy and a thinly-veiled attempt to intimidate her into silence.

Ferguson, Mo., Darren Wilson, Michael Brown, protest

On August 9, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot a black teenager named Mike Brown. Since then, the city has been protesting.

We are educating each other, we are learning from each other, we are supporting each other in this cavernous journey for justice and the “hope” that our system of laws will not continue to betray us.

Students are rejecting a proposed tuition hike that would raise their costs by more than $3,300 over the next five years.

Sign Up