Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party (Overview)
December 08, 2011
Topics: Occupy Wall Street;
Many societal observers and political pundits have compared the Occupy Wall Street movement with the Tea Party, suggesting that it is a left-wing equivalent to the right-wing Tea Party. On one hand, this comparison seems apt because the two movements have broad support from certain segments of the population, but on the other hand, the two movements are quite different in their methods.
In general, Tea Party events lasted only a single day or weekend, while the OWS movement has been ongoing for several months, and has no stated plans to disband. The Tea Party, though controversial and often inflammatory in its public stances and messages, was not marked by mass arrests, vandalism, or public disruptions. The Occupy movement, unfortunately, has been marred by various forms of law-breaking since its inception.
Apart from this difference, the Tea Party and OWS do have certain elements in common. First, both movements have appealed to wide swaths of the U.S. population and have highlighted a growing discontentment in U.S. society. The Tea Party blames the government for economic stagnation, while the OWS movement blames the wealthiest 1% of the private sector, but both are discussing the same problem. Both the Tea Party and OWS are opposed to what is called "crony capitalism," which mixes corrupt politicians with corrupt businesses, and both movements have strong libertarian elements within their ranks. Both groups have received support from presidential candidate Ron Paul, who is probably the most libertarian-leaning presidential candidate with a decent chance of nomination.
This article provides a comparison between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street. Do you think the movements are related? Do you side with one group and not the other? What do you think?