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.