This time last year, the words “income equality” were nowhere to be found in the media or in public discourse. It certainly wasn’t in Washington DC! All we were allowed to talk about was “shared sacrifice” and “austerity.” Somehow, though, the sharing and austerity seemed to stop when your income reached over $250,000/year. The GOP had control of the narrative and we were trapped in a endless loop in which the rich deserved more and we had to pay for it. There was not even a thought given to reining in the excesses of Wall St., much less punishing those responsible for the collapse. Job creators here, job creators there but not a job to be seen. Still, we little people should be thankful to give up our public services so these captains of industry could save us all.
And then September 17th came and went with a small group of people camping out at Zuccotti Park. Fox laughed and made fun of them. The rest of the media mostly ignored them. But they stuck around. And the idea spread to other cities. A lot of other cities. Even other countries. By the time, the Right realized there was a problem, it was too late. The conversation had started to slip away.
Understandably upset at this disruption to their plans to fleece the public, Wall St. and the powers-that-be began an assault on our civil liberties not seen since the era of the Vietnam War protests. Rubber bullets, illegal arrests, unconstitutional restrictions to speech and, of course, gallons upon gallons of pepper spray were used to threaten, intimidate and otherwise disperse the protesters. Also understandably, it didn’t work. For people who own the country, the 1% doesn’t understand it very well.
Now the conversation is firmly centered on income equality and the class warfare the 1% has been waging against the rest of us. How do we know for sure the GOP has lost the narrative? The New York Times reports that the debt ceiling is being raised as per the agreement made late last year between the Republicans and the Democratic Party. Remember the debt ceiling? It was the red herring the Right threw out there to distract from the real problems facing the country. So was the collective freak out over the debt and deficit that dominated the political landscape for the last three years. Bunk. All of it. The GOP is still making a token effort to stop the increase but their shriveled little obstructionist hearts just aren’t in it this time.
That’s not to say that the debt and deficit don’t matter but it can be dealt with when the economy is out of the toilet the GOP put it in. You don’t bandage the knife wound in your arm when you’ve got a bullet in you stomach.
Still, the fact that we are talking about the real problems facing us is encouraging. President Obama’s State of the Union reflected this in a way that is hard to overstate. The speech reflected the values of the Occupy Movement without directly referencing it and that’s amazing in and of itself.
Not bad for a group of “dirty hippies” in some tents banging on drums. Just wait until the weather warms up; Occupy will be the driving force behind the 2012 elections and that’s a win for all of us peons in the 99%.
Sign up to have all the AddictingInfo you can handle delivered directly to your email here!