The Left Declares Its Independence
Todd Gitlin, NY Times Opinion – If some aspects of the Occupy Wall Street protest feel predictable — the drum circles, the signs, including “Tax Wall Street Transactions” and “End the FED” — so does the right-wing response. Is it any surprise that Fox News and its allied bloggers consider the protesters “deluded” and “dirty smelly hippies”?
Then again, maybe it is surprising. As more than a few observers have noted, the Occupy Wall Street chant, “We Are the 99 Percent” — a shot across the bow of the wealthiest 1 percent of the country, which includes the financial predators and confidence gamers who crashed the global economy with impunity — seems synonymous with the Tea Party’s “Take Back America” ethos.
Those similarities, though, mask profound differences. The two movements both loathe the elite, but their goals, and the passions that drive them forward, could not be more at odds.