Occupy Wall Street and the Original Tea Party Are Two Sides of a Red Hot Coin

Last Updated Oct 5, 2011 12:39 PM EDT

Occupy Wall Street and the (original) Tea Party are two sides of the same very angry coin. A lot of very powerful people are really hoping that the two groups never figure this out.

The Tea Party started out as a populist movement of people angry about government overspending - specifically when it came to bailing out the banks. It intentionally stayed away from the so-called "God, Gays and Guns" social issues and in so doing got very popular, very fast. It is an agenda that most Americans can agree on, even if they don't agree about what the government is overspending on. People who bitterly disagree on whether to cut defense or entitlements will hug each other as soon as you mention bailouts.

Although the Occupy Wall Street website is drenched in liberal-speak ("resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions")[*], the key sentence is this:
The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%.
Icing the Tea Party
That's damn close to where the Tea Party started out, although it has morphed into something far more interested in God, Gays and Guns than anything else. At least according to Karl Denninger, the ex-CEO and now financial blogger widely thought of as the Party's co-founder. This is how he described the group past and present when he resigned from it:
Tea Party my ass. This was nothing other than the Republican Party stealing the anger of a population that was fed up with the Republican Party's own theft of their tax money at gunpoint to bail out the robbers of Wall Street and fraudulently redirecting it back toward electing the very people who stole all the ****ing money!
While Occupy Wall Street's website seems determined to scare away the blue collars its Tumblr site, We Are The 99%, shows the movement to be much more populist. There people post pictures of themselves telling stories of how they've been screwed by the UnRecovery. Example A:

Neither Washington nor Wall Street seem to have any idea of the level of anger and despair in the nation. This will come back to haunt them in November of 2012, if not sooner. This is a bipartisan anger that's waiting for something to set it off.

Almost an Arab Spring

The Arab Spring was created by people who saw that there lives were getting worse because tired of corrupt leaders and institutions ignoring their needs. The specific circumstances are different here than in the Mid-East but the general issues are not.

So far the Occupy Wall Streeters and Original Tea Partiers have had little to say to each other. They've been divided by things like claims of wealthy public school teachers and such. If they ever figure out that their economic interests are more important than any cultural differences, look out.

[*]Actual description of The Occupy Wall Street Art Show: "The show concerns the current paradigm shift of human expression and the emerging social condition." Pass the brie, please.


RELATED:
  • Constantine von Hoffman On Twitter»

    Constantine von Hoffman is a freelance writer and writing coach. His work has appeared in outlets such as Harvard Business Review, NPR, Sierra magazine, Brandweek, CIO, The Boston Herald, TheStreet.com, CSO, and Boston Magazine.

Comments

Market Data

Market News

Stock Watchlist