The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Natural Enemies? No! Natural Allies
A headline in today’s New York Times reads: “Occupy Wall Street Not Like Us, Tea Party Says.” The subhead then goes on to read: “Where Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party differ is in where they place the blame.”
The Tea Party blames government for the country’s present economic problems. The Occupiers blame the heavies in the financial community. But these aren’t separate, distinct entities competing to set the country’s economic policies. For all practical purposes they are the same fused entity. Its Wall Street wing determines policies that serve it own interests by placing its representatives in key government policy-making positions; its elected Washington wing adheres to these policies in return for ideas it is incapable to generating independently, and for money to get itself reelected.
The primary aim of both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street is thus the same: to break this link. Tea Partyers don’t want (or shouldn’t want) government that is smaller, but government that serves the interests of themselves, of Main Street, not Wall Street. The Occupiers don’t want (or shouldn’t want) a Wall Street that is diminished in its fundamental capacities to funnel capital to worthwhile economic purposes, but a government that makes sure this happens, rather than letting The Street fly off into inherently destructive directions.
The reason Tea Party populism is currently being distorted is because it has been captured ideologically and financially by Wall Street. The reason Occupy Wall Street might soon be ideologically and financially distorted is because elements of the don’t-rock-the-boat crowd in Washington are retooling their rhetoric in hopes the boat doesn’t get rocked too much — or at all.
So my advice to leaders of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements is this: Unite. And throw out all the bums!
More from this writer at wallstreetpoet.com