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Radio News Bulletin
Politicians heed rallying call
11 October 2011, 7:57 AM | Source: Matt Hall, SBS
So it is with Occupy Wall Street which has grown from a protest agitated by alternative fringe groups to one that is alarming American politicians from the right and energising those on the left.
According to Republican Pete King, the protestors are a “rag tag” mob of anarchists with “no sense of purpose other than a basically anti-American tone, and they are anti-capitalist.”
And with an inspired piece of logic, Presidential candidate Herman Cain believes the protestors should be angry with themselves – the disempowered are to blame for any ills the American economy is facing.
“I don't have facts to back this up,” Cain said, presciently, “but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration. Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks, if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself!”
Yes, Cain wants to be the next President of the United States. To give you an idea that he’s not some kind of lunatic fringe candidate, he has led some credible polls gauging preferences for the Republican candidate.
It’s true that Occupy Wall Street has disparate grievances and no single focus. On the flip, there’s a lot many people in the United States currently are unhappy about. The physical embodiment of Wall Street is a strong symbolic target.
But since a cop – a deputy inspector no less – blasted pepper spray in the face of four female protestors for little apparent reason, the protest has grown from a fringe embryo into something that may become more challenging for both political parties ahead of the 2012 election.
(You can see the cop attack video here)
Alan Grayson a Democrat who lost his Florida Congress seat to a Republican in 2010 (he is running again in 2012) shot down claims the protests were “bongo players” on recent TV talk show and offered a suit-and-tie explanation for the dissent.
He said: “If I am a spokesman for all the people who think we should not have 24 million people in this country who can’t find a full time job, that we should not have 50 million people who cannot see a doctor when they are sick, 47 million people who need government help to feed themselves, and we shouldn’t have 15 million families who owe more on their mortgage than the value of their home, OK, I will be that spokesman.”
Grayson’s America is made up of people featured on the We Are The 99 Percent blog. It’s grim and desperate reading. These are also the people Herman Cain believes are responsible for their own failings and Pete King thinks are rag tag anarchists. As the US heads toward the 2012 election, it looks like contentious – and clear – battle lines may be being drawn up. It won’t be pretty.