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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

OWS: Here's the REAL bad news

Occupation protesters were kicked out of their encampments in L.A. and Philly today. That's bad news, but not THE bad news. Here's the truly bad news, by way of CNN:
Both the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements identify with the values of just under a third of the country, according to a survey released Thursday.

Twenty-nine percent of Americans say the Occupy Wall Street movement shares their values, the same proportion who say Tea Party shares their values, the survey found.
Fifty-seven percent of respondents said the the Tea Party does not share their values, compared to a statistically equal 56% of respondents who indicated the same about the Occupy movement.
Not long ago, over half of the country thought highly of the Occupy movement.

Sorry, but there is no way to spin this or to dismiss this or to rationalize this. Please don't kid yourselves, and don't try to kid me.

The media's ongoing smear campaign -- which has been relentless and ruthlessly unfair -- has worked. When OWS commanded 50% support, politicians wanted to identify themselves with the movement. If only 29% support the movement, any association with the ideas driving OWS will be seen as politically poisonous.

The comparison to the Tea Party is instructive. It now seems that none of the tea-stained GOP presidential candidates will get the nomination. Romney -- unbeloved and uninspiring, but not a dweller on the fringe -- will probably win the nomination. Even in 2010, when the Tea Party was fresher and somewhat more popular, the most robustly tea-flavored candidates -- Sharron Angle, Carl Paladino, Joe Miller, Christine O'Donnell -- could not attain victories in their races. Angle lost even though she ran against a weakened Harry Reid, who probably could have been bested by my dog Bella.

Some will argue: "The Occupy movement is about changing consciousness, not about electoral politics." Yeah, yeah. I've heard the rap. First: In a democracy, everything ultimately comes down to electoral politics. Second: If you're losing support, if nearly twice as many people hate you as admire you, then you're not changing the way people think. So just what is it that you hope to accomplish?

OWS needs a new strategy, and quick. My suggestion: Books and videos -- lots of them. Occupy YouTube. And do not fear the emergence of articulate and engaging leaders. New faces, preferably.
I hesitate to give you this link when we've JUST finally been able to come on Cannonfire without having to scroll down each time to disable the last Colbert video (which was set to run automatically and has at LAST been pushed off the front page) --- but I think it's must see. And shows why I don't give a flip what the likes of CNN has to say.
"First: In a democracy, everything ultimately comes down to electoral politics."

A cold, blunt truth--one that has sadly been ignored for far too long (except by you, Joe, and a few others).
z, I haven't seen the vid yet, but I am sorry if there were tech issues. I use Firefox and Flashblock, which stops Flash video from loading automatically.

I'll not embed Comedy Central videos again, if this problem is serious.

To be frank, I don't like their videos anyways -- from a technical standpoint. You can't hit pause and let the videos buffer completely, the way you can with normal YouTube videos. If your download speeds are anything less than blazingly fast, you can expect sputter-sputter stop-start videos from Comedy Central. (This household has fairly good broadband, but it always slows up at night, for whatever reason.)
First off, I fully support OWS, but I think it is now time to have a spokesperson for this movement. Recently, I saw two OWS members on C-Span - one of them was inarticulate and hesitant (and was cringe worthy) - the other spoke reasonably well as to what the movement was all about. He had an arabic sounding name which prompted one caller to accuse the movement of trying to spread Sharia law! (This is the kind of crap we're up against). This is one reason the movement needs an articulate spokesperson. Maybe the General Assemblies could coordinate and come up with someone. Also (and I mention this only as a tactic), that spokesperson should "look mainstream" People, unfortunately judge others by appearance instead of actually listening to what they have to say. I don't think this would comprpromise any principles of the movement. I definitely want to see OWS succeed and move forward.

The movement also needs to start making demands - one could be that the DOJ (do we have one?) prosecute those who caused this financial/mortgage/employment crisis. Another could be that the banks write down mortgage debt (in light of the trillions that went to them). It's a start. The movement has to channel the anger in the country and focus it on goals.

I don't worry what CNN says -they're part of MSM which bow to their masters.
Hold your horses.

Think about the U.S. military. Many Americans don't like military "values" such as obeying orders and not questioning authority, but agree with its goals and purpose.

OWS is defined in part by unconventional lifestyle values -- camping in city parts, being willing to get beat up by cops. Many people do not share the OWS hippy-camper "values," but share the OWS goal of fighting the unchecked power of Wall Street. This makes it critically important to distinguish between goals and values when examining OWS.

The Tea Party question appears first, the OWS question second on the questionnaire. Instructions are to "ROTATE Q1 & Q2." Researchers know that this "conflation" happens on surveys all the times, skewing results, that's why the instructions call for the rotation of questions.

Still, this means 50% of the time the question was asked, this conflation takes place: Tea Party question comes before the OWS question. On the other hand, the other half of the time OWS is the priming question. That could explain why public opinion of the Tea Party is unusually high in the survey 29% (half the respondents hear mention of it conflated with the more respected movement).

Here's the survey, administered Nov 10-14:

Nov 19-20 WSJ poll that asked only about OWS. It shows support for OWS has remained steady from mid Oct to mid Nov. That's quite an achievement, considering all the negative press OWS has been getting.
One other point:

"When OWS commanded 50% support, politicians wanted to identify themselves with the movement. If only 29% support the movement..."

Your statement about 50% support is true, but it involved combing the "strongly support" and "somewhat support" responses in a survey.

For example, the ABC News suvey of 10/31 - 11/3/11 found 18% "support" and 26% "somewhat support" OWS -- which is almost within the margin of error of 50% support.

This kind of question wasn't asked by the Public Religion group's survey (there was no "somewhat" category, and "values" is ridiculously problematic when used as a measure of support for goals of mostly young urban campers).
In a democracy, everything ultimately comes down to electoral politics.

In an era of billion-dollar campaigns, what makes you think you live in a democracy?
Joseph, I didn't take note of the source of the video, but I wanted to add that Sky Dancing had the very same problem with that same Colbert video (and that video alone) --- only theirs scrolled off their front page faster than yours did. You mentioned them, so I'm not sure if you got that video from them, or what the problem was, but it seems limited to that particular one. btw, Sky Dancing has been an excellent source, thanks for that.

And you will enjoy this particular Colbert....he nails CNN....I've been watching CNN in horror while everyone rails about "Fox News." I didn't think they could get much worse, with their "questions of the week" such as "Would Jesus join the Occupy protests?" But, incredibly, they've now fired scores of editors and professional journalists because.... viewer-submitted videos, according to CNN brass, makes the professionals "redundant."

They want to stop their profitability declining. The internet is eating into advertising revenues. So they want to lower their cost base. At the same time the owners can hardley be expected to permit an editorial line which they disagree with. So this trennd will continue. Untill we stop watching their pathetic excuse for news.

We the people need to hold our democratic leaders responsible. We the consumers need to hold our suppliers responsible. Boycott and blacklist. Pull your bank account. Every choice consistent with your beliefs is a form of protest.

Polls are the most relied upon method of manufacturing reality. I think it's quite ironic to poll on...popular movements.
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