The elections this year will certainly energize the “Occupy Wall Street” and “Tea Party” crowds. There are differences and similarities shared by the two that will no doubt become more apparent as the campaigning proceeds.
The major difference is that the “Occupy” movement is convinced that the election goes to the party with the most money. This was certainly true in 2008 when President Obama enjoyed a large money advantage over Senator McCain. The “Occupy” group does not imply, or at least I hope it does not imply, that voters are ready to auction off their votes. Rather they believe that voters are too naive to not be persuaded by well financed media messages. While a fine distinction, nevertheless, they believe that our elections are determined by the auction block, instead of the voting station.
The “Tea Party” group has another basic approach. They are convinced that “getting out the vote” is the key to winning. This is inherently a more positive approach since it is based on grass roots work to mobilize voters.
It would appear that the “Occupy” people will probably not vote since they consider both parties to be lacking. You can be sure the “Tea Party” group will vote and get others to vote.
While they differ in the major task of winning the vote, the two antipodes do share some major positions. The “Occupy” crowd are basically “disappointed” by President Obama while the “Tea Party” is dead set against his re-election. A difference in style, but both attitudes serve to work against the president.
Both the “Occupy” and “Tea Party” movements reject government bail-outs for banks and corporations. They both see the TARP as having been a misuse of tax payers´money to support Wall Street “Fat Cats.” They do not even listen to the fact that the TARP did not involve one dime of tax payer money since it was funded with borrowed money and that has mostly been repaid, over 80%. Moreover, the Feds may end up making a profit on the TARP.
Both the “Occupy” and “Tea Party” crowds believe that the Middle Class has been screwed by the “rich.” Neither side stops to see that many of their supporters are in the “rich” class.
Both sides blame bad mortgage loans for the “Great Recession.” Neither side understands that it was faulty valuations of mortgage backed securities, not the securities themselves, that caused the “Great Recession.” In fact, foreclosures reached their peak in 2009 when about 4% of all mortgages ended in foreclosure. It is now almost back to its long term rate of 2%. When cast in the light of a 2 or 4 % foreclosure rate one begins to understand how the “Great Recession” was engendered by lack of perspective and faulty understanding rather than reality.
There is one other crystal clear difference between the “Occupy” and “Tea Party” people the former tend to be Democrats and the latter Republicans. It will be fun to see how these two groups fare during the elections.