LONDON – This article is meant as no offense of affront to the Tea Party members across the United States who honestly think they belong to a populist movement. It is evident from many of the responses and verbal assaults directed at the authors of articles on the Tea Party that many tea baggers vehemently believe that they represent the true interests of the majority in the United States. The fact that their organization is so clearly bank-rolled by the hate-merchant right-wing propagandist Koch brothers means nothing to them.
Any proof given showing the money flowing out of Koch Industries and into the Tea Party Express is written off as liberal media lies – those liberals and their constant lying. Any connections drawn between the people bankrolling the show and the people at Fox News profiting from the whole debacle are simply ignored. The Tea Party knows the truth, evidence be damned.
For nearly two years the Tea Party has dominated the airwaves and defined the rhetoric of allegedly populist political associations. However, in the past two months a populist movement that is actually popular has taken the stage: Occupy Wall Street.
It started as a small, but well organized, demonstration meant to draw media attention to the enormous abuses of Wall Street robber barons over the past decade or more.
Now, it has become a global phenomenon. Along with the tens of thousands of protestors and demonstrators in New York City there were protest marches all across the United States and indeed around the world. In every country where the bankers got away with murder while the public paid the price thousands of strangers called out in one voice for justice.
Washington tells us that is has to cut funding for National Public Radio, the Federal Emergency Management Administration, and school lunch programs but when the banks cry for help neither the Democrats nor the Republicans can hand out money fast enough.
The economy in the United Kingdom is the most similar to the United States in terms of its over-reliance on the financial sector and its lack of base-level industrial jobs. In the past week thousands of Londoners have taken to the streets demanding a voice in the so-called Coalition Government. The “Occupy” movement has spread from Wall Street to Main Street and has crossed the Seven Seas.
How is it that three distinct political parties can scream and holler at one another in the Halls of Parliament about who is to blame for their present conditions but no MPs can stand up and call for an investigation of the banks? Switch “Parliament” with Congress and “MP” with representative and the story in the UK would be indistinguishable from the United States.
Honest and hard-working people all around the world have the same questions and are given the same weak responses from their governments. The people are forced to suffer through fiscal austerity while the financiers who brought on the whole mess are left to their mega-yachts and summer homes in the Mediterranean.
Wall Street gambling was unquestionably the trigger that sent the American economy into a tailspin.
Wall Street is not solely responsible for high unemployment and the hollowing out of the manufacturing and industrial base upon which the US economy was built, but it went a long way in ensuring that hollowing out the American economy was profitable for the faceless multinationals who spent years exporting your prosperity to line their pockets.
The same is true in other developed nations of the world. The big business make a killing whether the economy is up or down while the masses are left to fight for scraps during any downturn.
There is no question that bankers and financial titans at the highest levels were committing criminal behaviour when they created a market derivatives bubble many times greater than the volume of the US economy. There is no question that crimes are committed when Goldman Sachs buys and sells millions of barrels of oil in a coordinated attempt to create profitable market conditions for its own investments.
The crime scene is all around us, but neither party in Washington has the guts to take a stand. President Obama waxes poetically about taking on the “fat cats” before jetting off to Martha’s Vineyard for a month of fundraising with the richest of the rich.
Why not take on the “fat cats” on Wall Street? If the Justice Department simply opened an investigation and began subpoena proceedings we could uncover precisely what banks, and what bankers, were responsible for the loss of trillions of dollars overnight.
Instead of prosecuting those responsible for tanking the economy we bailed out the banks and let the bankers leap from the proverbial towering inferno into a pile of ill-gotten bonuses and severance pay. A handful of CEOs took billions of dollars in bonuses while slashing payroll and laying off employees.
When the mainstream media covers the Occupations that have sprung up around the United States, and around the world, incredulous news actors ask “what exactly are these people protesting?”
How could they not know?
They are protesting having their education funding cut by governments crying poor. They are protesting having their effective tax rates go up while the richest of the rich get more loopholes and more tax breaks with every piece of legislation. They are protesting the Republican Party who wants to defund entitlement programs that every man, woman, and child in the country pay into and deserve in return. They are protesting a Democratic Party that will cave in to every demand from its radical opposition to the detriment of millions.
They are protesting the lack of media consciousness and the spineless reporting by journalists who are afraid to ruffle political feathers.
The protestors who embody the Occupy movements are demonstrating against everything that is wrong with this country, and this economy. Their compatriots around the globe are protesting with them.
This is the real populist front. This is the real face of the majority. In fact, the Occupation crowds do not represent a simple majority, they represent the vast majority. Chants of “We are the 99 percent” can be heard at every demonstration is every city. The protestors are all of us. They want what you want, and with any luck they might just shift the political discourse toward issues that are actually important to all of us.