Occupy Wall Street, the least effective mass political movement I have ever seen, is apparently planning their comeback.
Occupy Wall Street marks its first anniversary on Monday, and, in a bid to rejuvenate a movement that has failed to sustain momentum after sparking a national conversation about economic inequality last fall, activists plan once again to descend on New York’s financial district…
…Monday’s protests will cap a weekend of Occupy Wall Street seminars, music and demonstrations in New York, said Linnea Paton, 24, an OWS spokeswoman. Demonstrations are also planned in other U.S. cities, other OWS organizers said.
The Occupy movement is a perfect metaphor for why the left has lost ground in America for over a generation. Participating in our political process was beneath them. They refused to support candidates or legislation. They disenfranchised potential allies with their sanctimony, arrogance, and self-importance. They eschewed internal leadership, pretended to be homeless, disrupted city centers, and ended up annoying even those that agreed with them.
Political change requires political involvement. One cannot simply create a tent city in a park, complain about seemingly every liberal gripe imaginable, and expect others to do the heavy lifting (running candidates and creating legislation). Occupy refused to endorse candidates and legislation. Its really couldn’t, as there was no leadership to speak of; decisions were made by committees of sorts.
Occupy’s other failure was its inability to draft and support workable solutions to its key issues. Income inequality is a large problem in modern America, a worry shared by many across the ideological spectrum. Occupy’s goal seemed to be simply raising awareness, not providing actual solutions.
The Civil Rights Movement didn’t just complain about racism, they supported laws that addressed institutional and cultural racism. They raised awareness but also provided solutions and worked to achieve those changes. Occupy was a sad, whiny, and pathetic.
If you are going to bother and inconvenience the public by occupying parks you’d better have something good for us. That is Occupy’s greatest failure: not just squandering America’s time, but our precious attention as well.