|The Koch Brothers, Billionaire Owners of the Tea Party|
On the other hand, the Occupy Wall Street movement, which seemingly sprang up overnight and is now into its third week is a grassroots movement. As I said in a previous post, it may dissolve as quickly as it arose. There are no financiers with a personal ax to grind funding this honest to goodness movement. It runs on people power, the 99 percenters who show up with their homemade signs, not the slick, mass-produced signs one sees at the Tea Party rallies. But in three weeks the movement has spread around the world, a thousand cities and growing. People of all walks of life and political persuasion want to participate. It has taken on a life of its own.
And yet...there is a vast middle between all the extremes, those who vote for the person, not the party, who sometimes vote Republican, sometimes vote Democratic, sometimes vote Independent. These are the ones who appear to be joining the Occupy Wall Street movement, bringing with them individual reasons for supporting this growing sentiment.
I am an independent voter. I'm a registered "Independent," but that means nothing politically, because I vote for the person of either party who I think is most reasonable, judicious, and who is actually able to see shades of gray. I sometimes support the same candidate each time he or she comes up for re-election, but only because that senator or representative has acted in good faith while in office. I might not agree with that person on every issue, but I have certain issues that must be supported by a candidate before I vote for him or her. If the candidate, once in office, sells out on those issues, I do not support that person the next time.
My single vote doesn't add up to much, but when it intersects with a million other voices, it begins to gain power. I've hit the mark a few times and the candidate I supported won that particular time for that particular office because I and a whole lot of others happened to agree when we individually stepped into the voting booth.
I believe the Occupy Wall Street movement is an effect of many people happening to agree at this time that what Wall Street represents, who Wall Street represents, has got to be changed fundamentally. How this translates into change in the 2012 election cycle remains to be seen. I do not need a litmus test pledge be signed by any candidate whom I support. That smacks too much of what the Koch Brothers' Tea Party requires in its litmus test of a candidate. And, again, the Tea Party is not a grassroots, people-powered movement, although ordinary people have joined it.