#OccupyWallStreet: It’s Not About Giving Government More Power

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.


13 thoughts on “#OccupyWallStreet: It’s Not About Giving Government More Power

  1. How is it defensible in a democracy, for 1% of the population to more effectively influence and direct government toward the interests of said 1%, at the expense and detriment of the 99%? How can it be defensible that 1% of the population in a democracy has an immeasurably louder voice than the 99%? How is it defensible–IN A DEMOCRACY–for 1% to write laws that are engineered to expand THEY’RE OWN power and protect themselves from laws designed to protect the 99%, from the 1%? How can it POSSIBLY be defensible for a high level court to rule that money equals speech, when 1% CONTROLS 99% OF ALL THE WEALTH?!?!?!? It’s not rocket surgery to realize the system’s been hijacked and has become a corrupt elitist oligarchy. The more I type this the more extreme my anger becomes. Democracies are not supposed to see it’s participants differently from one another. Once they do, you got a problem.

    Tea baggers are angry? You haven’t seen our anger yet. Keep paying attention to this, I want you to help keep this alive Mark. THIS CAN’T DIE OUT. I can’t participate in it cause I have shit to during the day, but you are this movement, don’t let it be defeated.

    • “It’s not rocket surgery”? I’ll have to pass that one on to the progressives over at Perspectives.com….

  2. LaGreca is a verry articulate spokesperson for the sentiment being expressed at the Occupy rallies all over the country. Peggy Noonan, of course, tried to put he and the movement down by asking “where is your plan”. Where the hell is “your plan” Peggy?
    Her plan is to return to the good old days of Bush!!! OWS is about changing the course of this country to have general poliicies that reflect the will of the people and promote the common good. Somehing she and Will consider to be realized by copletely unfettered and unregulated capitilism. We tried that in the 19th and again late 20th and early 21st centuries. It didn’t work then and will not work to promote the common good ever!!!

  3. So how does it feel to be misrepresented? Kind of like how the tea party people are called racists, which is complete nonsense, but they continue to be misrepresented by those who have nothing buy hate to offer. I haven’t seen any evidence of a racist tea party movement, just as maybe there isn’t evidence of this other movement wanting to give the government more power. It could be a complete distrust of a left wing movement by those who don’t like their general political solutions. Sounds like the typical mud throwing we see from any number of directions toward something we don’t trust or that hasn’t been completely clear as to its motives.

    • You haven’t seen any evidence of a racist tea party movement? Are you serious? Take a look at these Tea Party signs.

      And there are many more so you can’t say that it is a few bad apples. The former leader of the Tea Party Patriots (Mark Williams) published a racist screed on his blog that was so bad he was booted out. But his racism was tolerated before that extreme incident. And the only reason they fired him was because he embarrassed the movement. He still has many Tea Party followers of his new organization and his radio show.

      I didn’t make up the charges about the Tea Party. They displayed their racism openly. However, there isn’t even a single sign or spokesman that advocates making government bigger. The difference is that there is real, physical evidence that at least some members of the Tea Party are racist. But there is no evidence to support the claims against the OWS. They are just making it up.

    • I’ll give you the generalizing is wrong, but they just made this shit up. interesting to see that you don’t disagree though….oh, and the motives are perfectly clear. We’re just specific about it. We dont just say ‘Cut Corporations’ and leave it at that.

      Cut Spending
      What should we cut?
      …..Cut spending
      Great, where should we cut?
      ……Cut spending
      What are you going to do if elected?
      Cut spending
      Cut what? Where? How much? Over how much time?
      ………..Cut spending?

      • I’m not sure I took a position, but my distrust of left wing political solutions and activist organizations isn’t something I’m going to deny. And I’m not sure the motives are “perfectly clear” – Mark made a very clear statement as to the motives in the article, but how do you attain those goals? – assuming those are the goals. Sorry if I’m not convinced, but I trust this activist group as much as you trust any right wing group – which is probably zero.

        • You’re confusing motives with practical execution, on purpose as usual. Execution comes through spreading the message of a hijacked government by 1% of the population, and energizing people to democratically act on it. It’s about infectious outcry, and inspiring people to PARTICIPATE in way that insures the protection and security for OUR jobs and interests, the jobs and interests of 99% of the country. Not the jobs of ceo’s and hedge fund managers that caused MY job, a job that had nothing to do with those that destroyed our economy, to be lost. They did this, why the HELL DID I GET FIRED?!? The message is the function and true purpose of a democracy is being largely ignored and what exists now disproportionately favors the interests of the very, very, VERY few.

          That clear anything up?

          • No, it didn’t. What I read is the same stuff I’ve heard many times and it seems very personal in your post. If I’m confusing “motives with practical execution”, then it’s because I don’t trust left wing groups – what is the end game, just break up at some point and go home? You mention noble ideas, but in the end – call it paranoia or whatever you want – there is something this group wants and I don’t believe it’s all honest and good – in my view. Politicians running for president say many nice things and push great sounding themes, but until they are in power, their true motives are unclear – and that is done on purpose. Barak Obama tried to sound so moderate during the campaign – and I’ll admit I didn’t buy it for one second – but his true beliefs eventually come to the surface.

            • I read that whole comment and came out the other side with absolutely nothing. What did you even just say…..? So, irrational distrust, or paranoia as you put it, or feelings not born of empirical reality, is you’re reason for thinking….for thinking what? You try to imply something there, I don’t know what you’re afraid of, just say it. They have some super dark ulterior agenda? I half expect you to say, ‘Crab people!!’ Why’s the president even mentioned there…..JUST SAY IT.

              ….there is quite a large difference between motives and how it all gets done. Am I wrong?

            • Ok, here you go… the title of this article about not giving government more power – I think it’s exactly what these people want – to have the government take whatever money they can from individuals they think “deserve” to have their money taken away and to redistribute it. You can say what ever you want, but in the end, that’s exactly what would happen.

            • They’d only take what the majority empower them to take. That’s the whole point. Right now the majority are being ignored in that regard, even among you’re own party’s voters. That’s the way it works right? Majority rules?

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