It’s great to see so many people involved in the #OccupyWallStreet protest. What started as a small group in New York City has quickly turned into a global movement with protests occurring throughout the WORLD.
I know that a lot of people are discouraged with our nation’s current economic and public policies because they feel that they are no longer being served by a system designed to represent “the people.” Yet, it is fascinating to watch this uprising resonate not only within our political system but also in other countries.
However, watching the coverage from the Martin Luther King Jr Dedication last Sunday caused me to wonder… how long will their passion last?
A reporter during the pomp and ceremony that day made a series of comments along the lines of this – we celebrate the achievements of Dr. King but many people fail to realize that it took almost a decade for the protests and marches to become a movement that resulted in real change.
As I think about our instant gratification society, the upcoming holidays and impending cold weather; I wonder if the protests will survive. Although political campaigns are gearing up, we won’t elect new representatives for another twelve months. Will the outrage sustain for another year or will we be on to another cause?
I believe these protests are very necessary to bring awareness that some of our 99% are struggling AND they are not happy about it. They recognize that their struggles are not of their own doing and that there is a system designed to help (not eliminate their ails) them yet those in control are more focused on their own self-interest and that of the 1% and they have forgotten who they were elected to represent. Even with the mounting protests, many politicians are not taking “the mob” (as Eric Cantor so eloquently described this discouraged group) seriously and are encouraging the disgruntled to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and keep pressing forward. They think because the protesters have iPhones and participate in our capitalist society that they have no right to complain about the obvious inequalities intrinsically embedded in a system that promotes a now ineffective trickle down economic policy.
However, I’m surprised that it has taken so long for the consciousness of the people to awaken. For years, our elected representatives have avoided talking to the people and chose to instead focus their attention on continuously raising funds and campaigning for reelection while the people stood idly by waiting for a better day. It should come as no surprise that the ones benefiting from this period of political inactivity were the ones financially contributing while those trusting the system continued to fall from the waist side to the ground.
So… here we are… fighting for our rights… expecting a change.. crying out for our leaders to hear our pleas… Is it working? How long will it take before something happens?
I think it’s only a matter of time before the protestors start asking themselves the same questions. I’m not a protester. I don’t have the hair or the temperament to camp out, especially among hundreds of other people. But I am a voter. I believe that my most powerful weapon is the ballot that I will cast next November. I am prayerful that those in outrage over our current economic conditions will recognize the same. Whether they continue to camp out or return home to their cozy beds, the real power will rest in the ballots that they cast next November.
Whether you join the fury of activity or prefer to watch from home, please educate yourself on the critical issues that face our country and take some time to find out where your elected representative stands on the issue. Are they proactively pursuing a plan of action or are they too encouraging you to hold on a little longer for a change. Can you wait ten years?
- Memorial of Martin Luther King Jr. Dedicated in Washington (nytimes.com)
- President Obama at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Dedication: “We Will Overcome” (whitehouse.gov)
- Entrepreneurs rise up to defend the Occupy Wall Street movement (m-cause.com)