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Excerpt: "The movement may not have made headlines lately, but it has had a marked impact on both the Obama and Romney campaigns, and now its members are pushing for even more radical change, Douglas Schoen writes."

Occupy has already captured control of the debate. (photo: Reuters)
Occupy has already captured control of the debate. (photo: Reuters)

Occupy Has Control of This Year's Political Debate

By Douglas Schoen, The Daily Beast

28 April 12


Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns


n a statement following the Senate’s rejection of the proposed Buffett Rule to impose a 30 percent minimum tax rate on those making more than $1 million a year, President Obama accused Senate Republicans of “choosing once again to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest few Americans at the expense of the middle class.”

And in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine this week, the president openly embraced Occupy Wall Street as “just one vivid expression of a broader anxiety.”

These remarks illustrate an important, but largely unrecognized, point about why and how the Obama campaign has retooled its message and strategy. Put simply, President Obama has effectively made class warfare the central organizing strategy of his reelection campaign.

Moreover, it is becoming increasingly clear that Occupy Wall Street (OWS)—while less visibly active in recent months following clashes with the police, infighting, and eviction from its flagship encampment in New York’s Zuccotti Park last November—is nonetheless seizing control of the political debate in America this election year.

OWS already has had a clear and demonstrable impact on both the Obama and Romney campaigns–arguably becoming the most important outside influence so far in this year’s election campaign dialogue.

President Obama and the Democrats have been increasingly echoing the central themes that OWS introduced last fall—emphasizing unfairness in American society, income inequality, and the need to redistribute wealth. Mitt Romney–who has struggled throughout this campaign on how to address questions surrounding Bain Capital, his overall wealth, the tax rates he pays, and what role Wall Street and business should play in promoting economic growth and job development–sought to tap into OWS themes at a rally in New Hampshire on April 24 with a speech centered around “the unfairness of America today.”

Moreover, the themes and rhetoric that Occupy Wall Street introduced have captured enough attention to go beyond the political hemisphere, to influence Wall Street itself. Nowhere was this clearer than last week when for the first time in Wall Street history, Citigroup shareholders united in opposition to a proposed $15 million pay package for its chief executive, Vikram S. Pandit. The shareholder vote, which comes amid a rising national debate over income inequality, suggests that anger over pay for chief executives has spread from Occupy Wall Street to influence actual behavior on Wall Street as well.

Occupy Wall Street’s rhetorical dominance of Democratic messaging fulfills one of the clear goals its followers articulated last October, when my firm, Douglas E. Schoen, LLC, conducted a survey of OWS protesters. At that time, a clear plurality (35 percent) of the Occupy Wall Street protesters interviewed said their top goal was for Occupy Wall Street to move the Democratic Party distinctly and boldly left.

They have largely succeeded.

President Obama has retooled his campaign message and has acted as an effective amplifier and advocate of Occupy Wall Street’s core messages since the beginning of 2012. His State of the Union address focused on the need for fairness and equality in American society and “an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

The president has also emphasized time and again the need to redistribute wealth and income, and the need to protect all Americans from rapacious oil companies, banks, insurance companies, and the wealthy in general. Calling economic fairness “the defining issue of our time,” he went on to proclaim, “Now, you can call this class warfare all you want … But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense.”

A new follow-up survey conducted recently by my firm on Occupy Wall Street goals and objectives shows that the movement has new and bolder aspirations to use the rhetorical influence it has already won to fundamentally alter government policy and change American politics and society in ways that were previously unimaginable.

Arielle Alter Confino, a senior researcher at my polling firm, conducted a follow-up survey on the attitudes of Occupy Wall Street’s supporters. She and two associates interviewed a total of 200 protesters in Zuccotti Park and at OWS’ new Union Square location between March 28 and April 2.

The survey results show that OWS believes it has vocalized frustrations shared by a broad mass of the American people (65 percent), and is now controlling the national dialogue (77 percent) and influencing both President Obama and the Democratic Party (54 percent)—at least in terms of strategy and rhetoric.

Moreover, we found that the view that the movement has become quiescent is fundamentally wrong.

If anything, OWS has become even more radical since our October poll—when respondents said they were ready and willing to use civil disobedience (98 percent) and violence (31 percent) as a means of achieving OWS’ agenda.

The results from our latest survey show that the activists we interviewed in October were not only candid but accurate about their tactics and goals. Indeed, a detailed look at the findings suggests that the OWS protesters are bolder and more aggressive than ever—with close to two-thirds (63 percent) saying they have already engaged in civil disobedience, and more than 10 percent (13 percent) saying they have already engaged in violence in support of their goals.

An examination of the survey data shows clearly that the activists we interviewed have an ambitious and bold agenda of change that they are working to see implemented through their next phase of activity.

They seek nothing less than a fundamental overhaul of American society, going well beyond the policy prescriptions of many European and Scandinavian social democratic societies.

The view that the OWS movement has become quiescent is fundamentally wrong.

The activists we interviewed made it clear that they oppose American-style capitalism (53 percent), and believe in massive redistribution of wealth (71 percent), dramatically higher taxes (85 percent), and greater government regulation and control over the economy (79 percent).

Seventy-nine percent say that government has a moral responsibility to guarantee health care, a college education, and a secure retirement for all, no matter what the cost—a 14-point increase from 65 percent who gave this answer in our fall survey.

Three-quarters (74 percent) would like to see our health-care system replaced by a government-run single-payer system.

As the current survey results indicate, the movement plans to go beyond its achievement of controlling the national political dialogue and influencing both President Obama and the Democrats to an even more ambitious agenda of tangible social and political change.

In the course of doing the interviews, my firm received a number of comments from protesters who were candid about wanting to more than just influencing the electoral outcome of the 2012 election.

As one Occupy Wall Street protester, a graduate student in her mid-twenties explained, the OWS efforts in 2012 were about the “need to fundamentally revolutionize American society [and transform it] into a cooperative—run by and for the ‘We the 99 percent.’”

Another protester–a seasoned veteran of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) whose calls for radicalism and direct action echoed the student protestors of the 1960s– put it bluntly: “The working class must unite with direct action to seize power back from the usurious banks and the corporations who run our state!”

And now, the movement is in the process of trying to achieve these goals.

Occupy Wall Street is now gearing up to reengage in 2012 with an aggressive program of protests designed to mobilize progressives with a reinvigorated effort to promote radical redistribution of wealth, greater government regulation and control of the private sector, and a massive new set of social and economic initiatives to guarantee government-subsidized health care, education, and retirement security for all–no matter what the cost.

Every week for the last two months, protesters in New York City have trained new members in various protest tactics focused on “redressing the imbalances and injustices in American society,” as one protester put it.

These weeks of training are building up to May Day on May 1, when Occupy is calling on the 99 percent to hold a general strike across the United States.

Occupy Wall Street is now organizing a powerful block of collective progressive interests—collaborating if not partnering with other leftist groups including but not limited to labor unions, environmentalists, and independent community organizers. On Tuesday April 24, thousands of people risked arrest by attempting to shut down the Wells Fargo annual shareholder meeting in San Francisco—demanding Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and other executives address the concerns of the 99 percent.

How much success the movement has actually implementing this sweeping agenda remains to be seen.

Make no mistake, Occupy Wall Street’s impact has already been considerable, as the movement remains a clear force to be reckoned for the upcoming general election campaign, and most likely, the foreseeable future. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+47 # Bev 2012-04-28 11:16
It seems OWS is greatly hampered from achieving its goals by the lack of attention from main stream media. The only coverage seems to occur when "black ops" infiltrators create negative scenes to the delight of the 1%.
+7 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-28 20:52
But they are regrouping and not going away...
+10 # John Locke 2012-04-28 20:53
Bev perhaps we ned to spread the word through face book and twitter and any other social media!
+3 # noitall 2012-04-29 11:17
Through all means, the word should be spread. Also, educating ourselves on the issues and being teachers ourselves. The media is not playing this role. Check this out:
should be watched by all of us. Kaplan nails what that is all about.
+19 # Brother Doc 2012-04-28 11:24
Occupy controlling the debate? You could have fooled me. Who do the cops go after, peaceful demonstrators or Wall street speculators? Who gets punished for awful behaviors by American mlitary personnel in Afghanistan, a few privates or the colonels and generals in charge? Which Congressmen are under attack in the primaries, the TEA party types or the more accommodating ones? It's been a mild winter in most of the nation but the Occupiers have obviously occupied themselves with other matters. Don't get me wrong, I wish it were true what the author of this piece is saying, and maybe there's still hope they can re-emerge to affect the election. But most of this article is wishful thinking at best. The media have moved on....
+31 # DPM 2012-04-28 13:17
Last year we were criticized for not having a "message". For being disorganized. Well, Brother, we spent the winter addressing those concerns. So, get a grip. We're back.
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-28 20:53
Excellent get the creeps and infiltrators, bashers out, out oout!
+1 # noitall 2012-04-29 11:22
That is everyone's job.
+4 # noitall 2012-04-29 11:21
This has never been about the media (the media is one of the problems) it's been about an alternative means to be heard, when the media doesn't do its job. It relies on everyone getting out there, inconveniently if necessary, but getting out there. It is the numbers that matters. Don't stand off to the side and critique the small numbers on the corner, be a part of it.
+31 # The Voice of Reason 2012-04-28 12:07
This is where decades of unbridled materialism has led us: "Where injustice is tolerated with indifference and disproportionate
gain is regarded as the emblem of success."

Our societies are suffocating under the yoke of greed and graft, and the stifling apathy of those who see this distortion of the human condition as our reality.

What makes it all possible is the rampant spread of predator and sucker economies: fuel, alcohol & drugs, weapons, to name only a few of the worthless ones. These sucker economies enrich the worst people on the earth at the expense of the rest of the human race. They are legal ponzi schemes.

Imagine, 5,000 years of recorded history and we still hearken to the economic model of Pharaoh and his people. What could possibly go wrong???
+21 # cordleycoit 2012-04-28 12:19
There are a lot of false flags and disinformation agents operating in the mainstream and near mainstream press.Rolling Stone's interview with Obama is a classic with the Prez patting the publisher on the head as he pitched softballs to the man who represents the machine. In the West we see OWS as a baby step in the transition to proper Constitutional governance. Not a rubber-stamp for the DNC.
I deeply question the Stone's motive for publishing the puff piece and I question and OWS move to start kissing the one parties back side Van Jones style.
We must act soon to develop economic wisdom to treat the and defang a capitalism run amok. We need to chop our way towards policies that represent the 99%: not the current increasingly heavy chains of the One presenters.
+6 # paulrevere 2012-04-28 16:21
I am just sickened by the fact that I have to remain skeptical...I can only think that this present o sling of apparent empathy for the left is about as robust as his silver tongued assertions of '08.

Tell 'em what they want to hear...DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO...sigh.
+7 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-28 20:55
They are not kissing anyonone's anything. This is pure speculation. Democrats are not doing anything so where is that accomplishment. They didnot take notice, nor do they have Media.

OWS will keep this in the Public's eye. They have no Ads pro anyone..they are disgusted with both
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-29 12:19
The Democrats and Clinton are largely responsible for the horrible state of the media: ons_Act_of_1996
The Telecommunicati ons Act of 1996[1] was the first significant overhaul of United States telecommunicati ons law in more than sixty years, amending the Communications Act of 1934. The Act, signed by President Bill Clinton, represented a major change in American telecommunicati on law, since it was the first time that the Internet was included in broadcasting and spectrum allotment.[2] One of the most controversial titles was Title 3 ("Cable Services"), which allowed for media cross-ownership .[2]

All of the people who keep talking up the Demcrats are making the problems worse.

I discourage people from voting if they are going to vote for either Democrats or Republicans, and explain that it is an empty gesture and that change can result only by the people rejecting the hegemonic machine, bringing it down, and taking direct control of their own country. More and more people are understanding this and agree.

The purpose of OWS is NOT to further either of the two major parties or the rigged system with it's propaganda. It is not the reform the system, but to supersede it with real democracy -- and that can't be done by following the rules and elections put in place by the plutocracy.
0 # JCM 2012-04-30 19:02
The real reason the media is messed up is because Ronald Reagan eliminated the Fairness Doctrine. This made it mandatory for political shows to have equal time for both sides and maybe more importantly limited ownership of media to keep a balance of views in the media. This brought on the beginning of shows like Rush Limbaugh. He did this saying that the media should be treated like any other business.
Additionally, if you advocate people not voting, you are actually taking away the only real power any of us have. I don't think there are that many OWS that would really like to see the Republican win.
+33 # Tprince 2012-04-28 12:32
Never doubt that a small group of determined people can change the world. In fact, they are the ones who do. YOU AIN"ST SEEN NOTHIN YET. Don't assume it can't be done. That's called excepting defeat before the fight. Be happy, get involved, stop bitching and make it happen. We can do it. Hope is here.
+19 # DPM 2012-04-28 13:26
Thanks, Tprince.
Whether it is joining an Occupy movement near you or just supporting it's goals in general conversation. Get involved. You don't have to agree with everyone about everything, but get involved. Maybe for the first time in your life. Don't think of yourself. Think of your children and grandchildren. Those that oppose tyranny often suffer, but they make a better life for those that follow.
Occupy! Occupy!! OCCUPY!!!
0 # Sweet Pea 2012-04-29 10:02
The unfortunate thing is that our elections are only giving us a choice of the "lesser of two evils." Is Occupy Wall Street going to give us an electable candidate that will make changes, or are they trying to change the ones we already have?
0 # paulrevere 2012-04-29 10:39
...and we're forced into the ethical and moral corner of having to still...VOTE FOR EVIL...howz dat werk Elmer?
+1 # noitall 2012-04-29 11:28
Its a longer term fix. It's keep Mittins out and put the pressure (through numbers in the street) on Obama to address the concerns of the 99%. If Mittens gets in we know what his SC choice will be; if Obama makes the choice, we have a better chance of breaking the gang of 5 cabal. Unfortunately, that's the way it still is in America, the land of the free (if you can afford it) and the home of the brave (if you can't [and have to join the army]).
-6 # lorenbliss 2012-04-28 13:02
Mr. Schoen's claim – that Occupy is "seizing control" of the 2012 political debate – is not just a shameless advertisement for his business. It is also utter nonsense.

Worse, it typifies our crippling penchant for self-deception.

As we learned from Obama the Orator's transformation into Barack the Betrayer, the U.S. political debate is meaninglessness . Note how "change we can believe in" became the biggest Big Lie in our national history.

Indeed the only discernible impact Occupy is having on U.S. politics is giving the One Percent a rationale for expanding the Gestapo powers of its Department of Homeland Security. Without Occupy, it's probable the abolish-the-con stitution sections of the National Defense Authorization Act and Trespass Act would not have been demanded of Congress.

That's not Occupy “seizing control.” That's the One Percent “seizing” the means to crush us.

Note too how these laws received nearly unanimous approval – undeniable proof the two parties are in truth one.

Also – were Occupy influencing U.S. politics – the Buffett Rule would not have been filibustered to death. Had it passed, Mr. Schoen's claim might have a solid foundation. But unless such change takes place, to assert Occupy is “seizing control” is no more than delusional self-indulgence .

Which – precisely as Sun Tzu noted 2600 years ago – is the most fatal mistake such a movement can make.
-1 # paulrevere 2012-04-28 16:28
When I view common sense response as lorenbliss presents and this particular group of commenters inevitably does the thumbs down...I loose complete faith in the COMMON SENSE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-28 20:58
Not all their is always a shell group everywhere
+3 # James38 2012-04-28 21:39
Paulrevere, you say "common sense? Lorenbliss' first statement is "Mr. Schoen's claim – that Occupy is "seizing control" of the 2012 political debate – is not just a shameless advertisement for his business. It is also utter nonsense." This is "common sense"? How does s/he justify the "shameless advertisement" part?

Then bliss goes on to say, "Indeed the only discernible impact Occupy is having on U.S. politics is giving the One Percent a rationale for expanding the Gestapo powers of its Department of Homeland Security." Really, and this is again "common sense"? Paul, how do you define "common sense"?

Is it "common sense" to be too timid to protest lest you goad the new "Gestapo" into blatantly violating the constitutional guarantees of assembly? Oops, we better not protest or the bad guys might get worse? That is "common sense", paul?

I think the one lacking common sense or any other contact with reality is you, paulrevere. Back under your rock, fido the newt, you are annoying those of us who are trying to get something done.

Yep, I gave you and loren thumbs down.
0 # paulrevere 2012-04-29 10:44
'Shameless advertisement' skews your 'common sense' there James38?

I fall back to a simple reflection upon his '08 emotionally manipulative but formless campaign run...remember how it got the advertising industries highest award...which usually goes to the most mmm, how is that not propaganda? AND, how is that not manuipulation of common sense?
+3 # James38 2012-04-28 22:01
Thinking a little more, Paulrevere, you sound quite a lot like a 1%er doing his level best to keep the rest of us afraid to put our heads up - we might get them knocked off, right? Wouldn't want us to keep acting like real citizens or individuals, would you?

Be docile and quiet, folks. Paulrevere will get out in front of us carrying a sign saying "common sense this way". All we have to do is follow his furry little backside right over the cliff.
-1 # paulrevere 2012-04-29 10:49
lol...good try there DNC plant, reversion to name calling has revealed much about you...

if you were old enough and properly educated James38 you would know that the 'common sense of the American people' has been an admonition of progressive politicians for at least a century if not longer.

Undermining that common sense has been the biggest advertising coup of the age.

...and YES, I do call o's manipulations shameless and utter nonsense.
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-29 13:42
You are being ridiculous -- and abusive.
+3 # noitall 2012-04-29 11:41
So what's the solution? to lie in the corner and hope that they don't do anything aggressive against us because we're such tame lap dogs? Haven't you heard politicians say "make me do the right thing". There's a lot of people and money making them do the wrong thing so what is your option? I'm sure we'd all like to hear. Occupy hasn't reached its full potential because there are negative speakers out there that keep the critical mass (in the street) from building. Remember that during Nam, protesters were killed. That's what it takes, apparently, for Americans to see the evil in the 1%. This is serious shit but the alternative is to have silence be conveniently interpreted as consent.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-28 20:57
Good points. OWS stand for us, no one else is not even many of us
0 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-29 13:49
At this point, occupy is not about politicians and media nearly so much as about the people. The first accomplisshment is establishing physical and political spaces where honest discussion, self education, and development of althernative ways of organizing and slef-governing can be developed (and this latter has gone amazingly well in such a short period of time).

The second great accomplishemnt is educating the people at large and raising their awareness, and providing a place for expression, of the fundamental evils and faults of the established system.

As it happens, the media finally WAS forced to acknowledge that something was happening, despite all the original attempts to ignore it. The media has ignored the huge Left Forum that occurred recently, but even without the media much was accomplished.

First a 'war' is about trining and developing one's armies, and only then is it practical to engage the enemy en masse. The left and working class has been whittled down and dissipated over the years and must rebuild itself, and that's the foremost thing currently on the OWS agenda.
+5 # MendoChuck 2012-04-28 13:45
Thank You lorenbliss . . . .
How is it that so many can be fooled by so few.
Amazing how the media can justify Obama's shift into saying what he needs to get elected after the sorry performance he has produced for the last three and one half years.
He certainly can talk the talk but when it comes to walking the walk I am afraid he has not even learned to crawl.
Real change will only come when the 20% that actually vote, actually change their votes. Until them I see only the status quo actually winning anything.
+21 # jwb110 2012-04-28 13:51
Why hasn't someone called into question the Patriotism of the 1% and their lack of desire to help the nation when the men and women in the military put their lives on the line to protect the wealth of the 1% ???
Shame on them!
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-28 21:00
Why doesn't the Brass back Americans instead of wanting to arm and teach cops how to Kent us again?
Brass should be on front lines earning their keep. No brains in making plans to kill more people including our own. Brass live well too while the men and women serving have to scrape it together, when they come home, the banks foreclose
+2 # noitall 2012-04-29 11:54
Says something about the level of understanding of the American People. Still sending their children out as fodder for the corporate wars AND the fact that the 1% and their lap dog congress, have made the military the only option, the roll of the dice, for many of our young (although the biggest chicken hawks are the GOP-check out how many of them have served in the military-they'r e 'smarter' than that). Is that the legacy we leave? endless war? "join the Army and get what should be available to you in a truly Democratic Society". VETERANS, get smart! Start speaking out to our youth, start creating options in community service that counteracts the impacts of a megalithic Pentagon to our society and our culture. As a veteran, you were screwed going in and coming out of the military. Your family was screwed by what they sent over and what they got back and the stresses that they have had to deal with. Don't encourage more to fall into that trap that is the military. Make them set up a draft to keep their wars going; maybe then we'll see a de-romanticizin g of military service.
+19 # cycleman60 2012-04-28 14:01
Occupiers have been hampered by police and civic operations. It slowed them down a bit, but they will come back sronger than ever. Those who think this was a fading instrument of voice will find this voice is ever stronger than before. Not even police nor state governments will quiet the message they speak. Occupiers, give 'em hell!
+8 # FLAK88 2012-04-28 18:05
It's only called 'class warfare' when the middle class pushes back. Actually, it's mainly about fair tax brackets and some just dues for the people who wrecked the economy before 2009. None of this radical;in any EU nation the highest taxes are paid by the wealthiest. There have also been some indictments for the bad banking that has also taken place there. In addition, regulatory firewalls have been enacted since the incidents. None of this is true in the USA. There is something fundamentally wrong with most Americans; not to have become outraged and demanded all of this by now.
+2 # robbeygay 2012-04-28 18:42
Yes it's great to see OWS working like Tianenmin in PRC ~ government needs reminders of ordinary people's needs and wants. The more OWS keeps to the point of necessities for life not the American wealth dream, the less effect Gambling/specul ating can have. I think our irreversable mistake was labor pricing.

My guess the first Government mistake was to invent gold as money in any form, its intrinsic value is low for other than Jewelry & electronic contacts that don't corrode easily.

When barter was the labor reward it had non-regulatory balance inherent. If you swapped coffins for necessities there were just enough coffin makers to equal the needs of other product producers output, even furniture makers could supply things to coffin makers when they needed a coffin. When too many coffin makers developed, they either went to other trades or diversified to make doors & furniture. Same in every trade & profession you got your worth for need satisfaction and adjusted to fit needs of your world.

So now the more cunning, ruthless, unprincipled and particularly uncompassionate commandment ignorant, can win, easily and winners win more, losers loose more, and never the twain shall meet. QED..
+1 # robbeygay 2012-04-28 18:46
POWS is going great keep the Government & Republican justices to the facts of life and laws, for the needs of product producing humans, not wealth shufflers rewards.

My guess the first Government mistake was to invent gold as money in any form, its intrinsic value is low for other than Jewelry & electronic contacts that don't corrode easily.

Advent of monetary exchange has created all the disparity, as some can store their income in tokens, or gold, land & other assets that grow in demand and hence capital profits for no labor output, this all leaves such a lot more room for cheats, greedy, exploiters, unfair labor reward.

So now the more cunning, ruthless, unprincipled and particularly uncompassionate commandment ignorant, can win, easily and winners win more, losers loose more, and never the twain shall meet. QED..
+5 # geraldom 2012-04-28 19:46
Occupy may (or may not) have control of this year's political debate, but there are two critical and extremely important weapons that they do not have control of that will eventually and certainly determine who is in control, not just of Congress and the White House, but of many of the state and local governments as well, and they are the use of these corrupt and fraudulent e-voting machines, paperless or otherwise, in all 50 states, and the mainstream news media that has been taken completely over by the corporations.

I truly fear what will happen come November of this year because the Democrats at both the national, state, and local levels were naive enough and stupid enough to completely ignore the fact that these e-voting machines can and will probably be manipulated to assure that corporate and fascist interests will win out come November.
+3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-28 21:03
Get people their ids. Get community to get people out to something. Time we take back USA...get people out to vote!
+2 # geraldom 2012-04-29 09:03
Quoting KittatinyHawk:
Get people their ids. Get community to get people out to something. Time we take back USA...get people out to vote!

Unfortunately, even if everyone that could legally vote, had the appropriate voter ID, that doesn't resolve the problem of the use of these fraudulent and corrupt e-voting machines. Anyone using these e-voting machines, which will be everyone since even the scanning machines are computer driven, will never ever know what the machine is doing internally. What the voter selects at the interface may not reflect what's happening internally where it really counts.

If it's a machine that supplies some paper validation, the paper will indicate the choices that the voter made at the interface but not necessarily what took place internally, again, where it really counts.
0 # robbeygay 2012-04-29 21:53
If you want Voters pay them, or make it compulsory like Australia, then fine them if they don't vote, and have no acceptable reason. Money is what people understand since we created coin and lost barter skills.

If you want full employment and prosperity, un-industrial revolution may help, start with putting vote receipt and count back to unempoloyed workers the machines replaced.

Don't worry though, when fossil fuel and other powee cost more than hands working the machines will idle and man's back muscles return.
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2012-04-28 21:04
Thanks OWS and others in this fight, doing marches, events, petitions. thank you organizations getting people out to vote, and getting ACLU up and in the game on many fronts, including women's rights.

Now the rest of you...what are you doing til ing only?
+2 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-29 11:21
What makes you think that people who post and spread information around are not doing anything useful?
+8 # luvdoc 2012-04-29 06:14
My wife and I recently visited Washington DC. Within three blocks of our hotel at Thomas Square there were three Occupy actions; two multiple tent encampments (one at Franklin Square) and one BofA sidewalk 24X7 protest (on Vermont Ave I believe). Each action was peaceful. My heart swelled with pride with the courage, commitment , and beauty of those good people.

I now commit myself to be more involved in my local Occupy and Veterans For Peace groups. luvdoc
+3 # noitall 2012-04-29 11:57
Spoken like a true Patriot, luvdoc!
+1 # FLAK88 2012-04-29 13:57
It really feels great to hit the streets once in a while, luvdoc. I'm 'a bit' older than many commentors and I can't say I was all that involved during the Viet Nam era (a few walkouts, student strikes, etc; nothing dramatic)What inspired me lately (ironically) was a conversation with a guy I know who's a Tea Partier. He said "Hey man, I go to those (demonstrations )things once in a while !" That really hit home, since he's Medicare age and obviously conservative. I thought; ' Hey, if he can do it, I should do it !' I relate my conversation to a lot of people these days. Anyway, good for you and get the most out of it !
+3 # Artemis 2012-04-29 06:27
The Occupy Movement are just great. I thank them for all their hard work, careful and progressive thought, civil debate and fabulous energy.
+2 # noitall 2012-04-29 12:03
Now toddle out there and join them. Its a bit awkward at first, a bit embarassing, hanging out with some of those hippiie types. But getting to know them is part of the glow, they're fine, intelligent, and patriotic folks and you'd be amazed how the media has made bigots out of all of us. Go ahead, show the world that you're "naive" enough to think that you have a chance against the greed of the "ruling class". Fear the 3-piece suiters, you'd hit it right more often.
+3 # bluepilgrim 2012-04-29 11:19
Occupy certainly does not have control of this year's debate -- but it has has assuredly influenced it and introduced some things which were previously hidden away. The control of the debate is still in the hands of the media -- but that fact IS now part of the debate, which is a great improvment in itself.

Many of us have been working on these problems for years, and 'occupying' in one form or another, but have always known that the situation is not going to change quickly -- not in one season, one year, or even several years.

Yet, there has been much priming of the pump done, and it's still being done, and no one knows when the water will 'suddenly' spurt forth to cleanse the system. The time frames of popular revolutions are notoriously difficult to predict.

It's like hammering away at a big rock, and nothing seems to change, and then, after 'one more blow' it splits apart from the unseen, accumulated internal fissures.

Don't rely on visible signs; just keep hammering away!
0 # charsjcca 2012-04-29 17:00
Life is getting interesting. That means that it is the same as it was yesterday when the sun came up in the East. In 2008 the sun came up in the East everyday and as I watched Russia Today I was blinded by the site of all heads of state embracing the presidency of Barack Obama.

Mitt Romney has his work schedule. All he has to do is convince some heads of state to trust him rather than Barack Obama. The question for those individuals is what does Romney offer that they do not already have. Would they feel safer sleeping while Barack embraces the 'red telephone?'

In 2000 it was a scary thought to imagine Al Gore cradling that object. That is why it did not matter what happened in Florida or what our Supreme Court did. Al Gore is a scary notion, a rock in my bed. Some one should poll the heads of state and see what they see. It could save a lot of expense. Elections are costly.
0 # tswhiskers 2012-05-02 13:38
I'm glad to hear that Occupy is back in the news. Protest is the only way change will occur in this country. I remember telling my mother in the 1960's that it requires radical protest to accomplish modest change and it still applies today. I have heard that there are some who think capitalism's time has come and gone. Given the incredible fortunes that have been made by a few I could well believe it. Surely Adam Smith and his immediate successors could not have foreseen how enormous wealth could freeze and ruin economies when he wrote Wealth of nations. I agree that the nature of capitalism must change if the U.S. and the world are to survive without poverty and struggle but I would like to see and hear some serious discussion on this might come about. We can no longer afford companies that are too big to fail. Am I becoming a socialist?

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