Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The OWS Claim to Moral Superiority

I will develop this post more when I recollect my mind, for exploded in a kaleidoscope of color against the backdrop of my office walls this morning.

Several people at a particular university in the Northeast of our country have been posting passionate scripts, messages, statuses, links to articles, links to notes, and photos, etc., on Facebook and elsewhere. Nearly every day there is something from them that almost singlehandedly prevents me from supporting OWS. ATTITUDE.

Now I saw that one of them, an educated and accomplished professor, and a decent writer, and clearly a man to respect and admire, and I do, has published a piece urging OWS not to vote for Obama because like all leaders his administration has had to balance those on the far left with those on the far right, and those in the middle. Okay he didn't put it like that, he put it like the Secretary of Education under Obama has given control to Microsoft etc. The author calls Obama one of the 1%ers, and that as OWS is the "conscience" of the Progressives, they should lead by not re-electing Obama.

There are so many things wrong with his piece, in my opinion, and so many ways I disagree with him, I don't know where to begin. I'd love it if others could respond to these ideas.

Here are a few reasons why this makes me angry. Having one or two reasons to critique a president and their administration, or even ten reasons, seems to me more justification to push for legislation, local and state and national that supports more closely what you would like to see. Primarily because this seems to not understand how politics work. Furthermore, Obama is one of the 1% financially, but certainly not politically. In the face of enormous opposition he has pushed again and again and again to pass this jobs-bill, to reform certain congressional measures, supports OWS, and has continued to fight to lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the rich. He has done things I don't agree with, bank bailouts and Bush era tax extensions to name a few, but to not elect Obama because of this or to put the focus there instead of elsewhere or to act like Obama isn't on the side of the working class and middle class is ridiculous.

But disagree with me all you like on any of those things. That's fine. But please DO NOT claim to have moral superiority and DO NOT claim to be the "conscience" of anything, much less the entire Progressive Movement.

That's really the last straw. A loose, disorganized, non-specific movement, named after Imperial policies of occupation and domination, implying the protest of a street which is only symbolic and not where corporations are and protest of an aspect of our economic structure which does not make policy, this loose 'movement' which has almost entirely consisted of people camping in parks for reasons almost no one is clear about and has given the world a distorted view of liberals, progressives and the left of center political supporters, and claims to have raised awareness although every educated liberal I have spoken to that supports OWS but is not actually protesting is doing so because it is totally unclear what it is about other than the right to party all night in public parks near urban housing, a movement vocalized by irresponsible journalists who pay attention neither to fact nor reality, a movement purporting to link itself to civil rights movements (based on what? that they also are large groups of people and a small number have been mistreated by overmilitarized police? I don't see any other similarity whatsoever), this movement is now THE CONSCIENCE of Progressives?

This is offensive on so many levels...

To name one level, I am offended by the presumption that those who support OWS are morally superior to those who do not for a myriad of reasons support or participate in OWS. That reeks of audacity without basis. There are many moral and intelligent conservatives who do not support OWS because they too feel it does not align with their own conscience. There are oodles of moral and intelligent liberals who do not support OWS because they have legitimate, practical, philosophical, and political critiques. To imply that anyone who does not jump on a bandwagon of protest is somehow less scrupulous, informed, or moral, is quite simply wrong.

Morally and intellectually and politically wrong.

Swing and a miss!

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