It's a sad day when Peggy Noonan and Bill Clinton, and a cadre of other talking heads all agree that the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon lacks focus and an agenda. And it's a near miracle that the institutional defender of traditional American values, the editorial page of the New York Times, actually has it right. OWS is the avant-garde of a social revolution. When large numbers of a pluralistic society put their bodies on the line in cities around America to assert that they no longer feel part of a system which ignores, and worse, abuses their right to participate in the political and economic direction of their country, their action is the message.
If both of the two major political parties direct their stewardship to the protection and nurturing of the wealthiest one percent of our society, that is not what the rest of us think of as democracy.
If the Supreme Court of the United States declares that the electorate of the country includes non-human, amoral corporate entities whose virtually infinite wealth is entitled to influence elections anonymously, that is not what the rest of us think of as democracy.
If the highest ranking Republican says publically that the primary responsibility of his party is to prevent the reelection of a Democratic President, that is not what the rest of us think of as democracy.
If the Republican party is using its mandate in various states to find ways to arbitrarily prevent voters who are likely not to vote for them from voting at all, that is not what the rest of us think of as democracy.
If we elect a President whose promise as a candidate bears only occasional resemblance to his performance as our chief executive, that is not what the rest of us think of as democracy.
If the perpetrators of our financial crisis, through mechanisms of greed and manipulation, are rewarded for their machinations and held safe from accountability, that is not what he rest of us think of as democracy.
And so on.
The question is not why people are joining an amorphous protest; the question is, with apologies to Thoreau, why are some people not?