'Flash Mob Politics' From Both Sides Now
They're mad -- mad as hell! -- and they're taking their anger to the streets.
Who needs leaders, structure or formal agendas? A few commonly shared and loudly expressed gripes and slogans will do.
"I can't afford my own politician so I made this sign."
"If only the war on poverty was a real war, then we would actually be putting some money into it."
Yes, I could be describing the tea party movement, but I'm not. I am looking this time at the grumbling on the other end of the political spectrum. The "Occupy Wall Street" protests, modeled on the
That's ironically appropriate to me, since the tea party movement first took to the streets in
Now it's the left -- farther left than Obama -- that's back in the streets, fueled by how
Welcome to the age of flash mob politics. Like a flash mob, like-minded people connect by Twitter and other social-network contraptions and just show up someplace where they display their collective indignation and swear they're going to keep coming back until ... what?
Well, goals are not the strongest suit of flash mob politics. The call to protest
Beyond that sweeping pronouncement, it's not easy to pin this movement -- like the tea party -- down to specifics. "It's a spontaneous gathering, there is no leader,"
That sentiment was echoed in similar leaderless and mostly peaceful demonstrations across the country. It also sounds familiar. I heard the same anti-pinstripe-elite sentiments at early tea party rallies. The teas' spokespersons used to call their movement "bipartisan," but it since has become inextricably identified with the right wing of the
As a result, today's tea party passionately defends tax breaks for the rich and vows to dismantle President
But, let's face it, kids, you've gotta move votes if you want to see real political change. That's probably why, after weeks of street demonstrations and hundreds of arrests, the orphan "Occupy Wall Street" movement has grabbed
Asked if the President was concerned about the protests,
"(T)o the extent that people are frustrated with the economic situation," he said, "we understand." Indeed. Hardly anyone is more frustrated with the sputtering global economy than those whose jobs hang in the balance, like Obama.
Now that they have our attention, could the
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'Flash Mob Politics' From Both Sides Now | Politics
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