The whole point, the whole appeal, of the Occupy Wall Street movement was “99%.” Everyone is suffering. Ordinary non-political mainstream Americans. People who are just living their lives and playing by the rules and getting screwed by the beneficiaries of the Whiffle Life.
And yet, out here in the Bay Area at least, the wrong sort of people are taking over. Occupy SF is getting costumed visits from Critical Massholes.* Occupy Oakland is getting speeches from Michael Moore.** And the kind of people who need to be behind the movement are going to look at it and see the usual suspects of the Professional Indignant Left – and the punditocracy will not hesitate to lump Occupy in with the usual suspects – the pot-bedraggled-Free Mumia-International ANSWER-ginormous puppet-crowd that helped paint opposition to the Iraq War as the province of Dirty Fucking Hippies.
If the people who really want to protest what’s happened in this country could be compelled to turn out in khakis and polo shirts, and lash out at things like Bank of America debit card fees and illegal foreclosures by banks that were bailed out with taxpayer money and failing CEOs getting one golden parachute after another, and if the Telegraph Avenue burnouts could stay home and shut up for once, it would only take a few weeks for Middle America to identify with the movement and wonder why we haven’t started stringing up hedge fund managers.
But as soon as the Professional Indignant Left gets themselves front and center, they become the story, and they become the face of the movement, and ordinary Americans don’t want to identify with them anymore. And that’s how the 1% get away with it. That’s how it worked in Alabama in the 1920s, that’s how it works in Alabama today, that’s what the GOP has attempted to nationalize in the last few decades, and on the available evidence you have to think it’s working out for them so far.
So bury the affinity groups, put out the fucking joints, burn the Chomksy and wash your fucking hair, and try to make Ed Earl Turnipseed feel like you’re one of him. Unless, as always, you’d rather be right than win. God, I miss Bill Clinton.***
* Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with Critical Mass that couldn’t be fixed with a couple of automatic rifles. I’m sick of people who don’t understand what civil disobedience means – from either direction.
** Michael Moore needs to be sewn in a sack and dropped off the Bay Bridge. No one who seriously argued that there was no difference between George Bush and Al Gore should be treated as anything other than a retard, let alone given any sort of credibility as a political figure. You fuck up like that, you don’t get to play anymore.
*** It’s not too late for the Big Dog to be put in charge of Obama 2012.