Occupy Wall Street is losing its focus.
President Obama was in New Hampshire giving a jobs speech when a bunch of occupiers started shouting incoherently and were immediately shouted down by Obama supporters:
According to Think Progress, “a protestor shouted ‘mic check’ and others joined in with shouts.” Ok. Sure — why not. All I heard was some incoherent yelling immediately followed by chants of “Obama! Obama!” and I bet that’s what most people who watch this video will hear as well.
The pro-Obama chanting combined with Obama’s handling of the #OWS hecklers — “‘families like yours, young people like the ones here today — including the ones who were just chanting at me — you’re the reason that I ran for office in the first place.’” — makes this video good for the Obama campaign and not so great for Occupy Wall Street (which is already losing public support.)
I had lunch yesterday with a good friend of mine who is not a political junkie, but keeps up on what’s going on. She’s an NPR listener. We were discussing Occupy Wall Street, and she said to me, “They’re losing focus.”
And they are. It’s hard to deny it. What started two months ago as the beginnings of an uprising over income inequality, corporate greed, and bank shenanigans has morphed into a battle of wills between people who want to live in encampments in public spaces (or private, as in the case of Zuccotti Park) and cities who’d rather they not.
And the discussion about corporate greed and income inequality has given way to complaints that this is a police state and a demand that President Obama “do something about it.” But what exactly? I’ve heard everything from “He should deploy the Marines to protect protestors” to “He must speak.”
Got it? He should either militarize an already tense situation (only at certain occupations, though because not all of them have devolved into violence and police brutality) or give a nice speech. But then what? What happens after the nice speech? What happens after each location is “sufficiently occupied” (by whatever method one could measure such)? Then what?
As for the mic checkers in New Hampshire, why? What purpose did your little disruption serve? Were you protesting something? What? Do you even know?
Because let me tell you something: President Obama is working for you.
When people ask me about my feelings on Occupy Wall Street, I say “I support Occupy Wall Street except when I don’t.”
Right now? I don’t.