The hostile reaction of Wall Street plutocrats, Republican presidential candidates, and right-wing commentators on Fox "news" seems to indicate that the Occupy Wall Street movement is beginning to hit a nerve. The general talking points of these conservatives is that this is a movement of frivolous, pot-smoking, lazy, unfocused youth, most of whom don't have a clue about why they are protesting.
You could expect that the right-wing in this country, which is so cozy with Wall Street, would do everything they could to discredit this movement, which by all accounts is a legitimate popular uprising. But this smear campaign doesn't seem to be working. A recent Time Magazine poll, for example, clearly shows that OWS is viewed far more favorably by Americans than the Tea Party is. Only 27% of Americans have a favorable feeling about the Tea Party, while 54% feel favorably about OWS. Even more telling, 89% of those who had familiarity with the protests agreed with the statement, "Wall Street and its lobbyists have too much influence on Washington," 79% agree with the statement, "the gap between rich and poor in the United States has grown too large," and 68% agree that "the rich should pay more taxes."
It would appear that a vast majority of Americans are in agreement with the basic guiding principles of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and that the more they learn about this movement, the more supportive they will become.
The problem so far is that the movement has not done quite as good a job identifying solutions to our economic problems in the United States as they have drawing attention to the problems themselves. Nor has the Democratic Party and President Obama effectively taken on the issue of income inequality, which is the ultimate source of most of our economic difficulties. The reason for this is obvious to me: the Democrats take at least as much campaign money from Wall Street as the Republicans do, and you don't ever "bite the hand that feeds you."
So until the Democratic Party gets over being so testicularly challenged, it is up to those noble men and women at Zuccotti Park and elsewhere around the country to keep the pressure on Wall Street and on Washington. To the extent that they can do this, I feel confident that more and more Americans will come to view this movement favorably and will ultimately begin to understand--as the protesters clearly do--that the real problem in this country is not that there's too much government, but that the American government has become co-opted by the top 1% of economic elites.
...and when the 99% of the country, who have been bearing the brunt of this economic down-turn, start to realize who is responsible for the mess that they are in, watch out Wall Street.
The real occupation is just beginning....