I'm seeing a lot of analysts gush about the Obama campaign's micro-targeted voter registration and GOTV efforts, and their early ads portraying (accurately) Mitt Romney as the uncaring, isolated out-sourcer he is. I've read about the Romney campaign's willful ignorance about America's changing demographics. What I haven't seen is any credit given to the Occupy Wall Street movement for radically changing the political discussion in America a year and a half ago.
Well, if nobody else is going to do it I will.
Thank you, Occupy.
Does anybody remember the national economic policy conversation before Occupy? It was about tweaking a tax rate here and there. It was about about debt and deficit. It wasn't about people or about how the vast majority of Americans felt like they's been beaten and robbed and how they felt nobody was pursuing justice. Occupy forced America to debate the basic unfairness of the entire system.
I can't count how many times since the Occupy movement I've heard mainstream politicians talk about "the 99%" or "the 1%". It's a very specific allusion that everybody now immediately recognizes and understands thanks to the Occupy movement.
Many in the Occupy movement would argue that there is little difference between the two major American political parties, but I'm not thanking the movement for election results. I'm thanking it for changing the debate. There was a lot of discussion in this cycle about how to make things fair, how to grow the middle class, even an occasional acknowledgement that there are poor people in this country. Occupy did that.