“An UnTea Party Revolution”

New article has been posted on The Huffington Post. Read it on HuffPost by clicking on the link.


Stop the revolution, I want to get off!

Revolution is nigh and this time it’s not the product of the misguided anger of the Tea Party!

This one is ‘real.’ Not manufactured. A protest the right loves to hate.

Armed with legitimate complaints, too many to count, people — ignored by an uncaring Congress — have taken their concerns to the street.

It started with the occupation of Wall Street, spread to more than 100 cities throughout the United States, then to cities all over the world.

Is this a populist movement?

Damn right it is and even though it’s hard to define Occupy, that’s the beauty of this grass roots movement.

Wall Street was the seed but it has grown far beyond the streets of New York.

Thousands have gathered frustrated by not only a broken system and the failure to convict those that caused the financial crisis, but unemployment, cronyism, home foreclosures, and a multitude of other grievances.

Fueled by the rapacious arrogance of banksters and brokers the number of participants grew. So did the number of grievances.

Early occupiers adopted the slogan, ‘we are the 99%,’ which refers to the burgeoning wealth disparity between the 1% wealthiest Americans and the rest of the population.

Unlike the Tea Party, which also lacked a cogent message, the grievances Occupy participants are addressing cover a wide swath of the American population.

Although heavily promoted and marketed by Fox News and a few right-wing funded groups as a grass roots movement, the Tea Party pales in comparison to what’s happening now.

The Tea Party, whose original intent and protestations may have been good, was commandeered by a group of right-wing zealots who hate government, liberals, and Obama.

They became a highly charged bigoted group who tried to mask their disdain for the poor, blacks, and hispanics.

Thankfully, the Tea Party is running out of steam. Unfortunately, not before they did irreparable damage to the country, particularly with the political support of the inept politicians they swept into Congress who have taken over the Republican Party, and pushed a deleterious agenda.

The Tea Party has, hopefully, run its course and, unless millions of misplaced right-wing dollars are pumped into it, will remain permanently dormant; a footnote in history.

In contrast to the defunct Tea Party, the Occupy movement welcomes and embraces all Americans. They welcome all grievances. They represent a far greater number of people than the Tea Party did.

The other movement had a much narrower focus; their outrage directed at government and our president.

Misplaced anger? Disguised bigotry?

Arguably, both!

None of their hostility was directed at the ‘real’ culprits’ of our collective anguish — those that caused our financial malaise — the banks, Wall Street and other big corporations, and those that let it happen, a Republican Congress and a Republican administration.

Since Occupy began Fox News hosts, show after obnoxious show, cast aspersions at the group including: name calling, outright lies, false comparisons, misrepresentations, selective reporting, and derision.

And though Occupy may appear to be random and unfocused, the movement has brought laser-like attention to the pain and suffering an unfettered and unregulated banking system and inept Congress has caused hard-working Americans.

This crusade has the right tenor and the participants must be allowed to peaceably assemble, grow, and ask for redress of their extensive grievances.

Police action must be tempered with good judgement and proper restraint. The same is true for municipalities. Overreaction could be an unintended spark that ignites something this country cannot afford to engage in. Civil disobedience is not always destructive and should be viewed through a cautionary lens.

Congress, the banks, Wall Street, corporations, and the wealthy would be well advised to pay attention.

The time for change has come and if the participants can refrain from Tea Party vitriol, remain peacefully defiant, and assemble within the law while exercising their 1st Amendment rights, then the OccupyWallStreet campaign will become the revolution.

This is what democracy looks like.

If it takes a revolution… then let the revolution begin!

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