There were a few more things we might have mentioned, so stay tuned for Episode 2.
A few days ago, I shared this schematic and called it a “Venn Diagram for the New Revolution.”:
One reader responded thusly:
“except the statement in the middle neither says that the government has too much power nor is part of the tea party opinion pool
conclusion: the author neither understands venn diagrams nor political opinions.”
I’m glad she/he did so, because it brings up an important point I should articulate further:
The daily talking points from the Libertarian Party, which I understand is NOT the Tea Party as such but draws form the same well, tows this line: “corporations have too much power because the government has too much power.” Even though strong elements in the Tea Party believe that limited government inevitably means more real power for corporations (and crazily, they’re okay with that), I do believe that there’s an equally sizable pool that agrees with corresponding parts of OWS on the idea that both corporations and the government have too much power, and that the problem is self-sustaining. Yes, a simple diagram doesn’t get at these nuances. But it’s helpful for people who believe as do I and many readers that powerful constituencies in OWS and the TP could collaborate in meaningful ways.
Who is the American Middle that has the power to make the 2012 election something different?
Most people reading this post. That huge nexus of overlap between the responsible Tea Partiers and the responsible Occupiers. The employed. The unemployed. The insured and uninsured. Homebuilders and homeless. Students with too much debt, families without enough food.
A reader writes: “I know you joke about your Kuccinich/Paul dream ticket, but I go one step further: it takes a group of crazy D’s and a group of crazy R’s putting aside all that easily divides them and works toward helping real people overcome the big government and big business working against them. What a concept?”
What a concept. I hereby propose the noble and wrongly-maligned fox as the symbol of the next American electoral revolution. If crazy is Ds, Rs, Is, TPs, OWSs all working together for the kind of change we need, I’m crazy all day long.
Yes, sometimes I talk about Batman. Sprinkled hither and yon on this Daily Cocca, between comparisons of Netflix to NATO and calls for the Tea Party and the Occupiers to seize their common ground and change the political process, sometimes I review comic books or talk about the Hero’s Journey as it pertains to Barack Obama. This is all very natural to me, but it may vex some of you. I can’t apologize for this…it’s the wellspring of excess and insight we’ve forged together in postmoderndom.
From this melange, a few interesting metrics: in general, posts about the DC comics reboot have the most traction on cmmunities like StumbleUpon and bring the most seach queries knocking. Part of this has to do with the fact that I posted pictures of “the new 52” at the right time, but more of it has to do with the online culture around fandom and the interest that piqued when the mainstream media first broke the story.
After DC Comics, things about the Tea Party have been gaining ground. In particular, I’ve seen a trend here and on facebook for Ron Paul supporters to comment about their man without saying his name. Very interesting tactic. I’d love to hear more about why you’re doing this. I have some ideas.
For the record, I like a lot of what Ron Paul is about. He’s the only GOP candidate whose ethic of life makes any sense (anti-abortion AND anti-war), but we’re not cozy on everything. Still, he’s the only guy up there who believes what he says and will keep on saying it until he’s unable or until we’re back on the gold standard and have fundamentally changed our financial and monetary systems. And our foreign policy. Good on you, Ron Paul. That nexus of things the Tea Party is mad about and the things Occupiers are protesting is visible in large part because of you.
So the DC reboot and Ron Paul are trending topics. Pardon the easy reduction, but a full reboot of Washington, DC, made possible by the Tea Party, Occupy, and their respective supporters and empathizers seizing common ground has been trending in my gut for a while. My hunch is that the political tolerance of the great, disgruntled epicenter of the current American middle enough far enough center-right and center-left to support a new kind of coalition of the willing. Is Americans Elect the technological, electoral tool we’ve been waiting for? Will it help us bypass the Two Major Parties and their Rigged Systems?” I certainly hope so. If not it, something like it. And now.
With thanks to Ryan Stout for sharing on Facebook:
It’s like someone drew a picture of this post.
I support Occupy Wall Street. I’m also hip to the fact that Wall Street occupies both sides of Congress and, let’s be honest, the war chests of everyone (everyone) (update: my bad, not EVERYONE) running for President.
I was talking with a friend today about the differences and similarities between Occupy and the Tea Party. Both are mad at Wall Street and Washington, but for some reason, neither of them publicly go after both with equal vigor. The Tea Party centralizes its energy for saving the middle class on the problems in Washington; Occupy uses its middle-class-saving-indignation on, well, occupying Wall Street.
Both movements say they want to save the middle class. Both were born of the middle class. Both have fringes motivated by things that have nothing whatsoever to do with saving the middle class. Corporate media, beholden as it is to the fortunes of Wall Street and the talking points of political candidates, would do well to hold up the narratives that both groups are crazy, that one is racist and fascist and the other is socialist and lazy. It’s in the best interests of the media conglomerates, of CEOs, and of the entrenched political culture that these groups continue to define themselves in opposition to each other. The Tea Party would do well to occupy Wall Street. Occupy Wall Street would do well to Occupy The Capital.
Obviously, members of each group have political goals that don’t easily mesh. But the larger narratives sound like all the economic and political complaints you’ve ever heard from everyone you’ve ever known: the government is broken, corporations are killing us, special interests (that nexus of corporate and political incest) run the country. The Tea Party and Occupy agree on that much. If “that much” is enough to start an even larger conversation about the futility of our political parties and the false options occupying our political system, Wall St and Pennsylvania Ave will finally have Main Street to answer to. Who says it can’t happen? Ideologues and everyone invested in maintaining the status quo.
2012 has to be different. America has to be different. I refuse to live as an adult in a political and economic system that infantilizes every important issue to the point of absurd farce. I refuse to leave that kind of social chaos to my children. We’ve been an adolescent nation for so long. It’s time to grow up, get serious, and put these labels away. We all know who the really bullies in the school yard are, and together, we are bigger, stronger, and smarter than they have ever dared to think.