The True Impact of Occupy — Our New Language

The Occupy [fill in the blank] Movement has gotten some (deservedly) bad press and has temporarily faded from view. Critics pointed at the crudeness (and sometimes criminality) of the crowds. There were cries of no real message, no action plans, just slackers camping out instead of punching into work.

This observation is not particularly profound but if Occupy never has any future impact whatsoever, they have one lasting legacy. Were it not for Occupy, we would not be talking about wealth inequality in such a concise and powerful way — the 99% vs the 1%.

Almost as if a Hollywood script were being followed, who has the Republican party cast in the role of Presidential nominee? After his triple crown victory in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin, it is quite clear that Willard “Mitt” Romney will be Barack Obama’s opponent this coming Autumn. Mitt thinks a few hundred thousand dollars is chump change for speaking fees. Mitt starts the betting at ten thousand dollars. Mitt casually brags that his wife drives two Cadillacs. Mitt has a lobbyist on the payroll to help him get a permit to renovate his California mansion to accommodate an elevator for his cars.

In short, Mitt is the walking poster boy of the 1%. Let’s be clear. There is no inherent shame in being wealthy. I believe Mitt worked for just about every dime he has. It’s a matter of how you carry that wealth. Mitt seems to carry it totally oblivious to the fact that most people don’t share his experience. It is not so much what has gone into Mitt’s pockets but what comes out of his mouth that defines him.

While the Occupy movement never endorsed Barack Obama or his policies, you have to think they are tailor-made for him this year. They came along just in time to frame the debate in a way that makes some forget about Obama’s mistakes. By changing the language we use concerning wealth inequality,  Occupy has made it virtually impossible for Mitt Romney to be elected President of the United States. That is the ultimate political impact even if that was not their original intent.

Rutherford Political Blogger Alliance