Occupy Wall Street versus The Tea Party: What’s the Difference? : ThyBlackMan

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Occupy Wall Street versus The Tea Party: What’s the Difference?

October 17, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Occupy Wall Street has been going for a month strong now. It’s spread to cities across the country. Two rallies have even been held here in my neck of the woods. I went to one of them last week and talked to some pretty cool people. There were signs galore. Many of them painted with American flags protested against corporate greed, the bought and paid for Congress and some members of the Supreme Court. There was a sign comparing the policies of the Tea Party to that of 1865. My favorite sign read “If you think my Socialism is Un-American Look at what Capitalism Has Done! There was even a sign that read I Am Troy Davis. People talked to me about school, health care, the economy, corporate greed, corporate welfare, bailouts, and feeling like at the end of the day the country they love and believe in owes them something in return. I asked many if they thought the Occupy Wall Street protests were in direct response to the Tea Party and to my surprise all those I talked to replied with a resounding “No.”

Well color me informed.

Where I thought this backlash by students in New York was in direct response to policies or the lack there of over the last year and a half that has held our economy ransom to the lowest tax cuts and deepest spending cuts, I was pleasantly informed that this is not about party, this movement is not about partisan politics, these protests are about people.

Well all politics is local right?

To that I think this movement is giving a big F-U to politics, local, national, and global.

In one month the Occupy Wall Street protesters have raised $300,000 brought out Al Sharpton and Kanye West in New York, turned away Rep. John Lewis in Atlanta, caused violence and arrests in cities across the country and around the globe; anyone see Rome burning this weekend? The movement has  spread to 950 cities in 80 countries including London, Paris, Tokyo, and Toronto. The rally in London brought out the elusive and always on the wrong right side of the law Julian Assange of Wikileaks founding fame. Organizers say this movement is what democracy looks like. But what I want to know is whose democracy is this? Or can anyone even own this movement.

Democrats and Republicans both have been slow to harness the energy of this movement. Whereas the Tea Party was born out of conservative griping and therefore was decidedly conservative, Republican, and right leaning neither party has been quick to try and harness the intense anger wrapped up in the Occupy Wall Street Movement. President Obama has made mention of it in passing but he has yet to address the crowd growing in Liberty Square with the respect due a grassroots movement that could play a large role in his re-election campaign or lack thereof.

His lack of acknowledgement is through no fault of his own. It seems as if he and many others in Washington just don’t get it. Something the Tea Party has been saying in one form or another for the better part of two years.

Washington doesn’t get it.

Yes the Tea Party is pro-gun, pro-life, and unfortunately pro-Palin, but they were also anti-bailout, anti-stimulus, anti-corporate welfare, and anti-big government.

These tenets may not all be present in the Occupy Wall Street movement but a few of them are.

When it comes to grassroots organizations seeking to make a political difference is there a difference between one man’s Tea Party and another man’s Occupy Wall Street?

No longer do the occupy protests scream Democrat as they once did on television. The speakers at the Occupy Jacksonville protest spoke about change at the ballot box but they didn’t say who or what party they wanted to see change. It seems to me that Occupy Wall Street is frustrated with both parties as the Tea Party claimed it was in its infancy. Occupy Wall Street seems to want the restoration of a glorious America the same as the Tea Party cries in everyone of its rallies.

So inquiring minds want to know: Are we talking about the same America or two different views of the same country?

Which America do occupy protesters and Tea Party Americans want back. Is it the America of smaller government, more jobs, a balanced budget, reduced (not eliminated) deficit, low unemployment, and marginally higher taxes? Is it the America where the rich pay their fair share, the poor, impoverished, and disenfranchised can close wealth gaps, education gaps are not wider than the Grand Canyon, wages aren’t stunted, and manufacturing bountiful? Is that the America both groups want back? If that’s all that is wanted, why does the message seem to sound so different? Why is it one group is branded racist and the other revolutionary? Why is one group labeled as being stuck in the ante-bellum war between the states south rednecks and the other as young rabble rousers agitating change?

In the grand scheme of things if both groups want the same economically for our country to promote prosperity why does there seem to be such a divide between the sides? What is it that separates us? Is it racism, is it several social issues, or is it our refusal to see the forest for the trees and come together to do something great in the name of country.

Maybe the question should not be what’s the difference between the two groups, but how many differences separate us that in the end may not even matter?

Do you think there is an absolute fundamental difference between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party? If so, what is it? If not, why not?

Staff Writer; Nikesha Leeper

To connect with this sister feel free to visit; Change Comes Slow.


Comments

6 Responses to “Occupy Wall Street versus The Tea Party: What’s the Difference?”
  1. Yvette says:

    Not as much difference as people think. The Tea Party is not the antithesis of Occupy Wall Street. We ALL (the 99%) are the antithesis of crony capitalism.

    http://howconservativesdrovemeaway.blogspot.com/2011/10/occupy-wall-street-vs-tea-party.html?showComment=1318611718667#c8291938754701421832

  2. DG says:

    “I’m a union member who works for Verizon.Verizon is a healthy,profitable company.They make billions in profit every quarter.They paid no federal income taxes the past 2 years and somehow even got a tax refund.They also took 1.5 billion $ in bailout money from you and me even though the CEO stated that they did not need any bailout money. So, how do they repay this country and their workers ? By trying to take away my pension, my healthcare plan and most importantly by moving as many American jobs as they can overseas! How does this help America’s economic recovery ? Who are the politicians that allow this? Oh ,and the CEO makes the same amount of money as 300 average employees but I’m not supposed to mention this little fact because if I do then I’m engaging in class warfare. This corporation has no allegiance to this country,only to the stock price. There has got to be a middle ground between corporate profits and maintaining a viable middle class in this country.”

    Great Statement!

  3. Kasi says:

    I don’t think there is a real difference they both wanted something and got a very little or people wouldn’t be angry at this magnitude. My question is…

    Will the people that are protesting actually work together? Form strong organizations to make additional changes,in spite of their beliefs and ethnic background, after the streets clear and come up with innovative approaches to current policies?

    It’s a little to late how come we didn’t see this type of protest when George was in office? Gold is sky high for a reason that people aren’t looking at.

  4. truedat says:

    I feel this movement crosses normal political boundries. I am sympathetic to elements of the tea party message and I also can sympathize with some of what the Wall St protestors are complaining about.

    Here are 3 issues that are bugging me.

    1.I’m a union member who works for Verizon.Verizon is a healthy,profitable company.They make billions in profit every quarter.They paid no federal income taxes the past 2 years and somehow even got a tax refund.They also took 1.5 billion $ in bailout money from you and me even though the CEO stated that they did not need any bailout money. So, how do they repay this country and their workers ? By trying to take away my pension, my healthcare plan and most importantly by moving as many American jobs as they can overseas! How does this help America’s economic recovery ? Who are the politicians that allow this? Oh ,and the CEO makes the same amount of money as 300 average employees but I’m not supposed to mention this little fact because if I do then I’m engaging in class warfare. This corporation has no allegiance to
    this country,only to the stock price. There has got to be a middle ground between corporate profits and maintaining a viable middle class in this country.

    2. This financial disaster which started in late 2008 and is still going on —- who has done the perp walk for this? NOBODY! NOBODY! As a matter of fact, not only has nobody done the perp walk but these foxes guarding the henhouse got bailed out with our money and even preserved their big money bonuses in the process.Who should do the perp walk ? People who rated
    absolute garbage debt as AAA,profiting while doing so. Corporate execs who stand up at a meeting and tell the public their company is healthy when they know that it is a house of cards.I lost alot of money in my 401k because of these irresponible clowns. The fact that nobody has gone to jail for this fiasco just makes your average working person feel that the game is rigged.

    3. I’ve got kids who’s future I’m very concerned about. Can you imagine how it must feel to come out of college with 100k- 200k of loan debt and the job prospects are almost none ? These kids have been sold down the river before they even get started.

    The politicians on both sides of the aisle and the corporate exec who’s attitude is “let em eat cake” needs to know that there is a very large segment of the population that has had it with all of them and is just about reaching a boiling point.

  5. Lalo Hopscotch says:

    Occupy is about true discomfort with the bank bailouts and golden parachutes that wall street guys are receiving.

    The Tea Party is about hating on Obama. They will back any crazy pony, O’Donnell, Palin, Trump and now Cain.

  6. DG says:

    I think there is a big difference between the groups. In my opinion, from what I have seen, Occupy has a largely liberal base, and is focused on better forms of wealth redistribution. The tea party is, as you have stated, very conservative in nature.

    They are against bailouts, etc. for different reasons.

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