It was encouraging to see the spread across the nation of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Although I know that when it gets down to it, I will find myself ticked off at the left -- mostly for its legendary ability for self-destruction through internecine battling and its tendency to get totally stuck on non-critical issues, often of form rather than substance -- it's about time that we had some activity to counter the extreme rightward turn in the public space of the U.S., if not in the actual feelings of citizens.
Only Congresspeople who are bought -- as most of them are, dependent as they are on campaign funding, yet another right-wing value brought to you by our current Supreme Court majority -- could defend tax cuts for the very rich. We know that trickle-down economics doesn't work, that giving rich people tax breaks doesn't create jobs in the U.S., and that while free trade is in theory a good thing, Democrats like Clinton and Obama negotiate trade agreements that give away the U.S. market, fail to protect labor -- the refusal of the Colombian government to act with respect to the murders of labor leaders and organizers is the most egregious violation that our free-traders wish us to overlook -- and merely encourage U.S. business to locate its production facilities anywhere but in the U.S.
I see working people taken in by the right-wing nonsense that tax cuts will create work. Anyone who inveighs against Obama as a socialist has never met a socialist. We have known since the 1930s that unregulated capitalism will fail us just as much as communism. Now we are seeing the consequences. The very rich have the resources to use public relations and the media they own to con the suckers.
Even more laughable -- except for the fact that he is taken seriously -- is David Brooks' latest piece telling Obama he had better calm down. The President acts far too cerebrally for his own good already. Brooks is just the same as any other Republican offering bad advice. Fight for craziness and you get taken seriously--the Tea Party. Fight for the 99% who don't get special preference in our society--the business-owned media stomp on you.
But it's still good to see some rising spirit from the protesters. Many of them are real people, not just people out to raise hell. My cousin's husband, Bill Davis, took some incredible pics of the crowd in Zuccotti Park. Maybe this is the beginning of something new, where we try to change the dire diagnosis of Yeats, totally on target until now that the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity. After all, he was a bit of a Fascist himself and somewhat pro-German, forgivable perhaps in even an Anglo-Irishman.