My Hope for OWS Is Gone

An Image of a Guy Fawkes Mask on a Handkerchief

I had some hope for Occupy Wall Street. My hope was that the people on the street were actually committed to real change. It looks unfortunately like they are not.

I use the term “they” to refer to Occupy Wall Street below in the broadest sense.

They want student loans forgiven. I understand that. But the reason college is as expensive as it is is because of the Federal Loan Program which has inflated the cost of higher education.

They think the fact that GE has paid $0 in taxes is a travesty. Yet I hear nothing from OWS about the fact that GE CEO Jeffery Imelt is the head of Obama’s “jobs council.” Or the fact that this buddy of the administration shipped 60,000 jobs offshore this past year while taking billions in subsidies from the tax payer.

They say that the banks are running roughshod over the rule of law. The big banks are. But I hear nothing about how the current administration has done everything it can to facilitate not only the lawlessness in finance at the highest levels but also to make sure the upper echelon gets paid by virtue of a loose money policy at the Fed.

I hear nothing of Solyndra.

I hear nothing of the illegal war in Libya.

I hear nothing of the potential illegal war in Iran.

I wanted so much to believe that the kids in the parks would be able to transcend the statist leaders who sought to co-opt them. Despite the SEIU and AFL-CIO folks I saw on my first visit to Occupy DC. Despite the misguided economic analysis. Despite some of the craziness I saw on my 2nd trip to Occupy DC. I still had hope.

In fact I had so much hope that I corresponded with Lawrence Lesig, a Harvard lawyer who spoke at Occupy DC who like me saw potential areas of solidarity with the Tea Party. I gave an interview to a reporter emphasizing the need for Occupy and the Tea Party to talk to one another. On the issue of crony capitalism, which some call corporatism, still others fascism, there seemed to be common cause. When large businesses use the government to shut down competition this is clearly wrong. Almost everyone I talked to at Occupy DC (and I talked with a lot of people) agreed with me on this point. The folks in the Tea Party do too. Opportunity right?

Unfortunately both sides have done what I’d hoped they wouldn’t, but feared they would.

The Tea Party has again given into it’s socially conservative wing. Instead of finding common cause with those who want change, they have run back to the GOP like scared sheep. Rush Limbaugh calls himself a Tea Partier now for crying out loud.

OWS on the other hand has sold it’s soul to an Obama administration that is desperate for any kind of lifeline. Just as was completely co-opted by the Democrats so to is the Occupy movement in the process of being co-opted.

My hope was that people would see beyond the blinders they have had fixed to their heads for so long. It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen- yet.

Why my current resignation?

Today I saw that a group of Occupy protesters “mic checked” (look it up) Ron Paul in New Hampshire. A small gaggle stood up and did the whole “We are the 99%…” bit. As if Ron Paul was a friend of the banksters.

He just smiled and explained to them that his life’s work has been on behalf of the 99%, which it has, unceasingly. He is the only one in Washington who has called for an end to the Federal Reserve, the very reason we are in an economic depression, and why the large banks make the profits they do despite our economic malaise.

If OWS can’t see that Ron Paul is one of the good guys, then I know how easily the group can be misled.

I’m still hoping that OWS (or at least part of it) will see that the only way out is with a freer economy and political system. But I am no longer holding my breath.

Nick Sorrentino 11-23-2011