5 Reasons the Right Is Terrified of Occupy Wall St.
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The Occupy Wall Street movement really frightens the Right Wing. It is not frightening to the Right because of Congressman Eric Cantor's feigned fear of "the mob" that is "occupying our cities." It is not frightening because anyone is really worried that Glenn Beck is correct when he predicts that the protesters will "come for you, drag you into the street, and kill you."
That's not why they are really frightened -- that's the Right trying to frighten everyday Americans.
There are five reasons why the Right is in fact frightened by the Occupy Wall Street movement. None of them have to do with physical violence -- they have to do with politics. They're not really worried about ending up like Marie Antoinette. But they are very worried that their electoral heads may roll.
The Occupy Wall Street Movement is so frightening to the Right because it may directly affect the behavior of those two groups of voters in the upcoming election.
1). The narrative. People in America are very unhappy with their economic circumstances. As a result the outcome of the 2012 election will hinge heavily on who gets the blame for the horrible economy -- and who the public believes, or hopes -- can lead them into better economic times.
Political narratives are the stories people use to understand the political world. Like all stories, they define a protagonist and antagonist. And political narratives generally ascribe to those central characters moral qualities -- right and wrong.
For several years, the Tea Party-driven narrative has been in the ascendance to explain America's economic woes. Its vision of the elites in government versus hard-working freedom-loving people has heavily defined the national political debate.
Of course at first glance it's an easy case for them to make. The President, who is the head of the over-powerful, "dysfunctional" government, is in charge. Things aren't going well -- so he, and the government he runs, must be at fault.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has helped force the alternative narrative into the media and public consciousness. The recklessness and greed of the big Wall Street banks, CEO's and top one percent -- those are the culprits who sunk the economy and who have siphoned off all of the economic growth from the middle class. They and their enablers in Congress -- largely Republicans -- are the problem. To address the underlying economic crisis facing everyday Americans we must rein in their power.
This narrative is very compelling and, of course, it is true. It's not that many voices haven't framed the debate in these terms for years. But by creating a must- cover story, the Occupy Wall Street movement has forced it onto the daily media agenda. That is great news for Progressives. The longer it continues, the better.
Right Wing pundits have disparaged the Occupy Wall Street movement for not having specific "policy proposals" -- but the Right knows better. The Occupy Wall Street movement is advocating something much more fundamental. It is demanding a change in the relations of power -- reining in the power of Wall Street, millionaires and billionaires - the CEO class as a whole. It is demanding that everyday Americans -- the 99% -- share in the increases in their productivity and have more real control of their futures -- both individually and as a society. Now that's something for the Right to worry about.