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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/12/12

How Occupy has defined the election

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Message Daily Kos
By Armando for Daily Kos

From the streets ... (David Shankbone)

To the election ...
"Democrats are united in message and policy behind a narrative that holds Republicans accountable for the decline of the middle class, blaming them for rubber-stamping the agenda of a moneyed elite that is abusing the levers of power to rig the game in their favor. And Mitt Romney is their poster child for that phenomenon. [...] 'The biggest thing that changed was there was a major shift in the overall environment when it comes to the tax debate,' the Democratic aide said, crediting the Occupy Wall Street movement for helping make the wealth disparity a national issue. 'People increasingly think the system is rigged to benefit those at the top.'" -- TPM
Last fall, I posited that:
"The Occupy Movement is quickly becoming an essential component of the progressive Village. But it takes more than a grassroots movement. It takes electoral activism and, yes, responsive politicians. For years, the blogs, like Daily Kos, have provided electoral activism. The pols have been a bit slow on the response, to say the least. Maybe what they needed to see was a grassroots movement. Enter the Occupy Movement. The makings of a functional progressive village seems to be, possibly, in our future."

The future appears to be now. See President Obama in a campaign appearance in Ohio last week:

But it started earlier. Remember the president's words in his State of the Union address this past January?

"[My grandfather's generation] understood they were part of something larger; that they were contributing to a story of success that every American had a chance to share -- the basic American promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement. The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules."

--President Obama, 2012 State of the Union Address

Sounds like this Democratic president (audio here):

"But here is the challenge to our democracy: In this nation I see tens of millions of its citizens -- a substantial part of its whole population -- who at this very moment are denied the greater part of what the very lowest standards of today call the necessities of life.

"I see millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hangs over them day by day.

"I see millions whose daily lives in city and on farm continue under conditions labeled indecent by a so-called polite society half a century ago.

"I see millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children.

"I see millions lacking the means to buy the products of farm and factory and by their poverty denying work and productiveness to many other millions.

"I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.

"But it is not in despair that I paint you that picture. I paint it for you in hope -- because the nation, seeing and understanding the injustice in it, proposes to paint it out. We are determined to make every American citizen the subject of his country's interest and concern; and we will never regard any faithful law-abiding group within our borders as superfluous. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." [Emphasis supplied.]

This is why we are Democrats. Our politicians and statesmen now appear to be fully comfortable in reanimating these basic Democratic values.

Occupy helped make that happen.

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