With the eyes of the world on Occupy Wall Street, the time has come for the protesters to translate their frustration into a coherent political movement. Leonard Pitts Jr. writes in his new column, “Next Move Crucial For ‘Occupy’ Movement”:
While the Occupy movement has spread broadly, there is as yet little evidence of its ability to seize political power and use it to execute the movement’s agenda. Say what you will about the tea party — a straight line if ever there was one — but give it credit for moving quickly to translate its angst into political capital with which it impacted the 2010 midterms and presidential politics to this very day.
The Occupy movement, by contrast, remains what several people have called it: a primal scream.
Primal screams have their purpose. They command attention. But they do not, of themselves, bring change.
Yes, that criticism is premature. The Occupy movement is only a little over a month old. It is a new colt, still wobbly on its legs, yet some of us want it to already be Seabiscuit.
It is, however, difficult to escape a certain impatience when you consider that the corporate greed and exploitation the movement exists to oppose have gone unquestioned and unchallenged for an unconscionably long time. There is something grotesque about the idea that 1 percent of the nation controls more wealth than the bottom 90 percent combined. There is something pitiful about the idea that the bottom 90 has endured economic exploitation in silence for years.