Autocritiquing Occupy

Via Stoller on Twitter, a blog hoping to elicit a constructive dialog on the Occupy protests and the future of the movement.  In response to George Lakoff's How to Frame Yourself advice to Occupiers at Common Dreams, one post in particular stands out:

1) Lakoff’s insistence that the movement focus on getting candidates with “its moral focus elected in 2012.” I couldn’t agree less. If OWS turns into a get out the vote drive for the Democratic Party, it would be a betrayal of it’s raison d’etre and its resonance with people who are thoroughly disillusioned with the political process, particularly after 2008, when Obama managed to sway a lot of people with his soaring rhetoric and promise of renewal. Election season is already well underway; the Republican candidate will be decided by January and Democrats will try to convince liberals and progressives to fall into line behind Obama. The possibility of OWS running its own candidates in this short period and with existing campaign finance laws in place, or supporting politicians from the existing bipartisan pool who share its ‘moral values,’ are slim to none outside of a few local races.

Agree that any appearance co-option by the party would dissolve what momentum is possible quickly, but I'm also reminded of watching the tea party in 2010 with their litmus tests and the "other" kind of influence they had on the elections (Sharon Angle, O'Donnell come to mind).  Anti-establishment and in the spotlight only gets you so far.  The tea party's influence on 2010 wasn't so much the candidates they ran and it definitely wasn't their independent fundraising as a "movement," but the exponential effect they had on disappointment with the Democratic Party.  They got out the vote.  Much more could be said about the decline of tea party popularity since.  Was it always going to fade, or are they paying the price for a hard line approach that a majority of voters now blame for gridlocked government? 

So you can't run your own candidates in 2012, but you can find issues or even specific legislation to rally behind.  Does a candidate have to be right on every issue to get some support, or can a candidate be right on the most important issues and draw the crowd?  And what about influencing members of congress throughout the campaigns?  You're not getting the ear of a single Republican, no question. 

I'm not sure the right answers for the movement.  Questions of where things could go and the role of Occupy in 2012 seem almost two separate dilemna's, yet in the end they'll be tied together.

Without a tangible influence of some kind in 2012, we won't be hearing much about Occupy after the elections.  Unfortunate reality, sure, but still the case.  Anyway, go speak your mind.

 

Tags: Occupy Wall Street, George Lakoff, Framing, 2012 (all tags)

Comments

1 Comment

Normal people

Normal people understand 3 things of relevance

 

1)  corporations are not people and this is a threat to democracy

 

2)  the rich got bailed out and the poor didn't

 

3)  Obama and the entire left establishment don't know what they are doing regarding the economy

 

If you put your eggs in basket 1 or basket 2 you may even have tea party support.  If you try and fight basket 3 you lose lose lose.

 

I am pretty confident the OWS will choose unwisely.  They are not fundamentally poor.  They are not terribly educated.  And they are vain reflections of the neocons who have bought into the idea that they can overpower people into agreeing wtih them.

 

Just look at the vocabulary

 

Occupy

Overthrow

agree with us before the violence starts etc.

 

The reality is if there was a shooting war in the USA the politics would move to the right not the left.

Almost all the organization in this country will chooose to keep their money or opt for rules where by the organized can get their money back from the disorganized quickly.

 

The tone needs to be a basic fairness issue.

 

Why are the super rich making so much money for doing nothing and the poor are losing everything?

 

Name and shame works.  Name the individuals and shame them.

 

Name and blame or Name and threaten much less so.

by donkeykong 2011-10-22 03:41PM | 0 recs

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