COMMENTARY | Since the Occupy Wall Street movement first began, I have had a very hard time comprehending the message it means to convey. Because of limited media coverage of any meaningful debate from this movement -- which has spread across the country -- the mainstream outlets choose instead to cover only the most extreme and sensational events and views that can be associated with supporters.
As an early supporter of the Tea Party movement, I can sympathize.
Flipping through the newest form of social media to enter my life, Tumblr, I stumbled across my first glimpse of understanding for the OWS movement. In the post, a picture from one protest proclaimed their cause to be best summed up in one word: Corporatism. Citing examples such as bank bailouts, a corporately funded political lobby, and what they deem "rigged market capitalism," the movement certainly defined their protest, despite the mainstream media's attempt to cast them as "rebels without a cause." With this definition, in my eyes the protest becomes more legitimate.
Shunned by most media and outright attacked by others, the OWS crowds have remained resolute. This largely youth-led rally continues to raise eyebrows from the establishment, but has yet to make real impact. In my opinion, embracing this notion and definition can only enhance their position and could possibly shift public perception. Putting their cause in terms with which individuals can identify gives meaning to their actions. Definition also creates parameters around which people can choose to rally and build momentum for political change.
As President Barack Obama was quick to seek alliance with the Occupy movement, I somehow perceive he is not necessarily taking actions these demonstrators approve of. In my eyes, many issues of Corporatism would be in direct protest of President Obama's economic policy. For a group claiming 'this is not a protest, this is a conversation', the placement of a candidate on the Democratic ballot to oppose President Obama in the primary would be the ultimate prize. An OWS backed Democrat could force the President to do more than "just run clips of the Republican debates." He would actually be forced to answer the valid issues of Corporatism.
As a supporter of the Tea Party movement, I applaud the effort and resolve of the Occupy Wall Street protesters who continue to stand in defiance of the system. (I will also say to the OWS, some occurrences taking place at the protest sites are painting your efforts with a very negative image in the minds of the public, including myself. I hope you will reorganize yourselves in some manner that will bring less negativity to your cause.) I am personally proud to see America's youth politically energized, no matter what their view.