The latest right-wing mis-read of the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon is that the protesters are advocating giving more power to a government that they don’t trust. That sentiment was expressed by John Fund on Fox News as well as by George Will in this exchange with Jesse LaGreca on ABC’s This Week:
George Will: Mr. LaGreca, I hear a certain dissonance in your message. Your message is Washington is corrupt. Your message is Washington is the handmaiden of the powerful, and a lot of conservatives agree with that. But then you say that this corrupt Washington that is the handmaiden of the powerful should be much more powerful in regulating our lives. Why do you want a corrupt government bigger in our lives?
With the corporate media advancing yet another phony theory about this new movement it is important to set the record straight. No one associated with Occupy Wall Street has ever called for more or bigger government. That is a fabrication made entirely on the part of conservative critics whose only interest is to tarnish the movement, silence the message, and misdirect the public’s attention.
To be perfectly clear: The Occupy America movement is not about giving government more power. It is about taking power away from the corporations, lobbyists, and wealthy special interests who control government, and giving it back to the people.
That’s a perspective that is rarely articulated on television or elsewhere in the mainstream press. The absence of such viewpoints is a shameful flaw in American media. Every newspaper and television network has dedicated business reporters, but where are the labor reporters? LaGreca managed to challenge his TV hosts on this point during his brief segment saying…
“[T]he reality is, I’m the only working class person you’re going to see on Sunday news, political news… maybe ever. And I think that’s very indicative of the failures of our media, to report on the news that matter most to working class people.”
Fund, Will, and other conservatives are quite correct when they agree that the bankers and brokers who got bailed out after throwing our economy off a cliff should be held to account. That requires oversight by responsible public agencies. Citigroup is not going to let me audit their books.
What this movement is attempting to do is bring fairness into the economic process. It is attempting to carve out a place for the working and middle classes who have been shoved aside by the wealthy elites. This is a goal that any sincere Tea Partyer ought to support. And those who have not been irreversibly deluded by the Tea Party’s financiers (the Koch brothers, Americans for Prosperity, etc.), who are the perpetrators of The Great Recession and the beneficiaries of a weak government that they can manipulate, should hurry down to Zucotti Park or the nearest site of Occupation in their city.
When the interests of the people are represented in government, then government is not more powerful, it is more democratic.