I'm not sure you old tea-party types sitting at home in the 'burbs watching FOX and listening to ClearChannel really understand the sentiments driving the OWS protests. If you think this is about getting out the vote for Dems in 2012, re-living the hippy '60s, union funding, or George Soros's diabolical organizing, you're just not getting it. So here you go:
Of course, the sense of possibility that progressives might win was what fueled the election of Obama. And their frustration is what has created the context for OWS—and raises the specter that it might alter the landscape the president must traverse next year in dramatic and unpredictable ways.
"Obama didn't build a movement, he built an electoral machine," says Marom. "If he had built a movement, he would not be where he is right now. But the fact that he was elected, that so many people came out in the streets for him, that people cried when he won, was an expression of the fact that they wanted what they thought he was, which is an alternative. He wasn't it. He can't deliver it. This political system can't deliver it. This economy can't deliver it. But there are millions of people who genuinely want it. That's amazing and inspiring to people like us, who are just, like, 'Okay. This is for real.' "
As an avowed liberal-progressive, I'm still not sure I like OWS, because I'm not sure all their energy will come to anything; and meanwhile there are real winnable battles being fought, and the stakes are high. There are big elections coming up, and Republicans and faux Democrats are vulnerable. But votes and elections just aren't what OWS is about. That's their prerogative. I just hope they know what they're doing.
In 2008, Barack Obama lit a fire among young activists. Next year, Occupy Wall Street could consume him.
By John Heilemann
November 27, 2011 | New York Magazine