Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ugly Rhetoric

Every movement has its ugly rhetoric, where people get carried away emotionally at rallies and say regrettable things. I'm seeing calls for violence and bigoted displays out of the Occupy Wall Street movement on a scale not seen in the Tea Party. This is not good.

These kinds of things are only going to rile the Tea Party and the right against Occupy Wall Street, if they aren't there already. I have watched this political discourse go back and forth for about two decades now, where each side makes horrible remarks, the opposition reacts and is shocked, SHOCKED! I tell ya, and then they trade places, and evoke the misdeeds of the past to justify the misdeeds of the present.

Whenever I see this dynamic in play here, my mind goes to the former Yugoslavia, to the Serbs and Bosnians. How long have they been doing this? 700 years? It doesn't work.

I am convinced that left and right can get together on this, but it will take focus, and will require one side or other to take the high road. Since the OWS folks are on the ground and it's their moment, the onus is on them. So far? FAIL.

And, for what it's worth, my expectation is always that the left has greater capacity to take the high road, but always disappoints me more spectacularly, with rhetoric and imagery that is well over the top of what the right puts out there. I'm seeing it right now. The hatred and seething in many of these folks is well beyond the Tea Party. I'd love to see a leader- a Ghandi, an MLK Jr., someone who can make a point firmly without succumbing to hatred- take charge of Occupy Wall Street. This is where being leaderless is hurting movements.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Normally, each side(s) figures it is using the other. The big plan is to reach the shared goal and then take out all former allies as counter-revolutionaries. Nothing ever changes because no one reads history. C'est la Vie. Buy more popcorn and enjoy the show.

cynical sam