'Tis the Halloween season. Be afraid, very afraid. Eric Cantor, Orrin Hatch, Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove and Herman Cain want you to be very afraid of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. These politicians and pundits have called the OWS participants “badly educated”; riot provoking; “dirty”; “lazy” a “mob” of “anarchists”;“parasites”; “human debris”; “marxists”; and “bizarre, aging hippies.”
Fox and Friends accused them of being “drug addicts.” Glenn Beck warned, “They will come for you and drag you into the streets and kill us.” Well, I intend to join this mob of parasites and soon-to-be violent killers at Occupy Salt Lake City. This is how scary I am.
I'm “a drug addict” that's never used drugs … ever. I've never even had a drink of alcohol … ever. Never smoked cigarettes or pot … ever. I went on a mission for the Mormon Church (just like you did, Mitt).
Despite my “laziness” I have a job, work about 55 hours a week, plus 20 more hours for a nonprofit, unpaid. Despite my being a “parasite,” I make enough money that I want the government to raise my taxes. Despite being “badly educated,” I have advanced degrees and have spent the last 37 years studying and teaching medical science. Despite my wanting to “drag you out into the street and kill you,” I've managed to spend many nights during those 37 years helping drag some of you from the streets and provide life saving care for victims of car accidents and gun battles.
Despite being “human debris,” according to Limbaugh, I've managed to stay married to the same person for 40 years (three fewer marriages than Rush), and I've not only never been addicted to OxyContin, Rush, I've never even taken one pill. Despite being an “anarchist,” my one and only experience with mob violence was to try and quell it. Despite being an “aging hippie,” I've never been naked outside my house and never had long enough hair to hold any flowers.
So, what makes millions of people like me so threatening to the extreme right wing? They hate the message and they're worried that most people actually agree with it. So naturally, kill the messengers. And the “Occupy Wall Street” message they can't abide? Our government has become paralyzed. Our most serious problems not only remain unsolved but steadily intensify – intractable unemployment; massive debt; failing public education; crumbling infrastructure' counterproductive wars; unaffordable health care; an immoral disparity in wealth; oil addiction; environmental degradation; and the granddaddy of them all, an apocalyptic climate crisis that's just getting started.
The common denominator is an electoral system so dependent on obscene amounts of money that the public interest always loses to the special interests, just like the Washington Generals always lose to the Harlem Globetrotters. The refs (lawmakers) are bought off.
Where's our clean energy future? Sitting hogtied with our scientists in the back of the bus while TransCanada, Peabody Coal and Exxon Mobile stomp on the accelerator, hurtling the entire world off the cliff of climate disaster.
Single-payer health care? Won't happen, not because the public doesn't want it, but because the insurance industry with their army of lobbyists won't stand for it. Banks bailed out with your tax money? Sure. Individual mortgage holders? Not a chance. Reform of rigged, casino capitalism that just ruined the world's economy? Nope. Prosecution of the perpetrators of Wall Street theft and fraud? Ain't gonna happen.
Thanks to five radical, right-wing members of the Supreme Court, corporations and their beneficiaries have tightened their death grip on our government and the democratic process and are drowning it in the bathtub, the perennial wet dream of Grover Norquist.
The OWS are as interested in accountability as the Tea Party, but want it applied to corporations and the top 1 percent, not just the bottom 99 percent. The OWS are as interested in freedom as the Tea Party, but understand that our freedom is drowning in a tide of corporate profiteering, not government regulations.
They understand that the solution is not less government, but better government, where the refs aren't bought off, where you and I have as much of a voice as the 45 billion dollar Koch brothers, and where thieves who steal billions of dollars from millions of people don't get golden parachutes, but actually go to jail.
Occupy Wall Street is the definitive struggle for the soul of the country, the literal future for our children and grandchildren and the 99 percent of the world's population who can't buy themselves a gated fortress, impermeable to the mounting economic and environmental carnage left in the wake of corporate and plutocratic greed.
To Eric, Orrin, Rush, Karl, Roger. and all your friends: Yesterday's polls show that Occupy Wall Street is already twice as popular as your Tea Party. It's a hint that Americans have had enough and your reign is coming to an end. I'm sure you find that very scary. Happy Halloween.