At a time when so many people are struggling financially, it does bother me a tiny bit when I see such overtly ostentatious houses, automobiles, or yachts that there seems to be no reason for their existence other than to stroke someone's outsized ego. It troubles me even more to learn that some individuals have obtained their fortunes through cheating, stealing, or accepting ridiculously large bonuses while workers at lower levels are being laid off. And when exceedingly rich people and corporations use their boatloads of money to buy political influence? That doesn't just bother me, my friends. That pisses me off!
Our laws should ensure that the ultra-wealthy are entitled to exactly the same amount of political influence you and I have: one vote apiece. When our elected officials fail to do the business of our government because the offices they hold have been bought and paid for by the one percent of the population with the deepest pockets, we need to recognize that something has gone terribly wrong. The fact that this kind of paid political persuasion is possible does not make it acceptable.
Today I'm standing up in my little corner of the Internet to join forces with people all across the country who are stepping up to occupy their communities in the interest of letting our officials know that we love America, we love what it stands for, and we're desperate to put a stop to the short-sighted, greedy, grab-what-you-can-get-and-to-hell-with-everyone-else attitude that has permeated Wall Street and Washington.
I've been reading the websites and Facebook pages of some of the Occupy groups. For the most part (there are always exceptions), I like what they're trying to do and the peaceful way in which they're attempting to go about it. The Occupy movement reminds me in so many ways of the push for change that grew in the 1960s until changes did occur. The process was long, frequently painful, but almost always exhilarating, as though the very air we breathed contained a low-voltage electrical charge.
I't's difficult to explain the Sixties to people who didn't experience it for themselves. If you're one who missed it, pay attention to what's happening across the country now. We might be on the verge of something similar.
I haven't yet found the courage to join the bold souls who have recently begun to "occupy" nearby Baton Rouge. Maybe I will, someday, but when I see the hatred being spewed online at some of these groups and the misinformation being dispensed by certain segments of the media, my thoughts turn abruptly away from what's right for our country and focus on my own safety and security.
How selfish I am. I stay hidden, like a rabbit in tall grass, trying not to draw attention to my small presence in this field of dissent. The Occupy protestors march through that same grass, waving signs, singing anthems, shouting slogans, shining a spotlight on the masses of Americans whose financial--and, therefore, physical--security is being threatened. To me, these protestors are soldiers battling bravely in a different kind of war.
I proudly salute them, even as I slink back into posting about dogs, books, autumn leaves, and old family furniture.