Earlier today on Google+, I found a link to this site:
I've been following the various Occupy protests since nearly their inception, and have enormous sympathy for their grievances and their message. But this thing... I dunno... It has a strange odor to it.
Follow me over the calligraphy.
Let me first apologize in advance, because it's late and I'm about to get lecture-y. The Occupy movement is the first movement I've seen (barring Obama's election) that looks like it will have a real chance to effect crucially needed changes in American governance and society, and I want to see it succeed. It is from that spirit that this diary is written.
To begin with, I don't think the "Declaration" linked above is the legitimate work of the Occupy movement. For a start, the tone is all wrong. There's just something about documents that start with, "WHEREAS," or "BE IT RESOLVED," that suggests inauthenticity to me. Part of Occupy's message is that the existing power structure has lost all credibility, and the whole "WHEREAS" thing is part of that structure. I don't think actual Occupy members would employ that language.
Second, the "Declaration" contains no small share of right-wing talking points. Either members of Occupy have unwittingly drunk the Kool-Aid, or the document was written by someone else. I will take a couple of examples:
6. Medicare for all American citizens or another single-payer healthcare system, adjusted by a means test (i.e. citizens who can afford it may opt-out and pay their own health insurance or opt-in and pay a means tested premium). The Medicaid program, fraught with corruption and fraud, will be eliminated except for the purpose of providing emergency room care to indigent non-citizens who will not be covered by the single-payer program. [emphasis mine]
Means-testing is a right-wing trope. Single-payer only achieves full efficiency when everyone is in the pool, so what's means-testing doing here? And why is only single-payer mentioned? Nationalized healthcare can also work, as England has shown us. Also, when was it established that Medicaid was, "fraught with corruption and fraud?" If you're really concerned about defrauding the government, the low-hanging fruit is in military contracts.
8. Adoption of an immediate plan to reduce the national debt to a sustainable percentage of GDP by 2020. Reduction of the national debt to be achieved by BOTH a cut in spending to corporations engaged in perpetual war for profit, the "healthcare" industry, the pharmaceutical industry and all other sectors that use the federal budget as their income stream AND a truly progressive income tax code that does not allow the wealthy and corporations to evade taxes through excessive deductions, subsidies and loopholes. We agree that spending cuts are necessary but those cuts must be made to facilitate what is best for the People of the United States of America, not multinational and domestic corporations.
Lemme tell ya, if you're out of a job, about to lose your house, or wondering how you're possibly going to feed yourself this week, you don't give a crap about the national debt. Only Republicans have been fetishizing the debt, and then only when the Administration is Democratic. "Deficit Peacocks," Digby calls them. Mentioning the debt at all makes the whole document extremely suspicious. There are other right-wing fingerprints on the document; I'll let you find those yourself.
I also casually note the absence of any mention of a stock/securities transaction tax, which would seem fairly obvious.
That aside, it's a really awkward read. It's also thematically inconsistent with the Occupy statement released a couple of weeks ago. It looks like it was written by someone who's heard that populist manifestos exist, and may even have read one or two of them, but doesn't really seem to get it. Such a document needs to feel like it has an energy and sense of purpose behind it, and I'm just not getting that here.
So, I think it's a fake, and OWS may need to prepare for that.
And if I'm wrong and it is for real, well, I've got a whole other rant I can write about that...