Occupy Wall Street: A Powerful Waste

In order to add some variety to A Southerner Abroad, some of my posts will have absolutely nothing to do with my job search.  In today’s totally off-topic post, I will discuss the Occupy movements.

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy protesters in New York City.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, along with the other Occupy movements that subsequently cropped up around the country, is the biggest waste of potential political power that I have ever seen.  The movements lack focus and central leadership, which has allowed them to devolve into disparate angry mobs that have accomplished little.

I still don’t know what the demonstrators in the Occupy movement want.  In fact, I doubt that they (collectively) know what they want.  One day the group is marching on the homes of rich people, the next day they are interrupting the filming of ‘Law & Order.’  Occupy protesters have captured the attention of the national media for months, but they seem unable or unwilling to utilize the spotlight to advance an agenda.  Is it because most news outlets are owned by major corporations, or is it indicative of a lack of leadership?

So, what can Occupy do to capitalize on the limelight before the rest of the country loses interest?  The first, and arguably most important, step is to figure out exactly what they want to accomplish.  Without a clear focus that includes specific demands, the movement will continue to spin its wheels.

That leads to the second step.  The movement must put a leader in front of the cameras.  A few politicians have tried to hijack the Occupy’s momentum, but it doesn’t appear to have paid dividends.  The face of the movement should be young, charismatic and intelligent.

The last step is to keep raising hell.  It seems like every time Occupy is shut down in one city, they make news in another city.  They have occupied (I know, bad joke) the major news outlets for months because they are good at raising hell, and that is the only way they will continue to be heard once they organize.

If Occupy fails to come up with some clear demands and find someone to share them with the rest of the country, they are doomed to fail.  Our collective attention span is too short for them to make any progress unless they organize quickly.  I sincerely hope that the movement is able to get its act together in time to make some real changes.  Occupy has unlimited potential, but it cannot be tapped without first making a few adjustments.

What do you think?  Is Occupy doomed to fail, or can they really bring about change?  To learn more about the movement’s legacy, which is already materializing, check out this Wall Street Journal blog post.

Until next time.

-Taft

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