By: Daryl Northrop
Occupy Wall Street, and its related regional and local movements, have captured the attention and imagination of American’s everywhere who fight for the rights of the 99% (in simple terms, that everyone who isn’t a millionaire). The current political system serves the needs of the top 1% of income earners and wealth-owners quite well. They and their corporations fund the candidates, and the PAC’s, and the think tanks, and the research instutions that support their system of greed. The “Occupy” movement has been characterized by a populist, non-partisan orientation. Meaning, they support values and policies that lift up the poor, the middle-class, and the small business owners, while standing against huge corporations that buy off our politicians, and send our jobs and profits overseas.
So the question on the lips of jaded political pundits and consultants everywhere is “What’s next?” Will the Occupy movement become another pressure group like the NRA or the Sierra Club and lobby for change within the framework of the status quo? Or, will they become an independent political movement, similar to the “Tea Party” before they were co-opted by the GOP establishment?
Some in the Occupy movement have started an electoral wing to recruit and support candidates who stand with the 99%. Here is what Occupy The Ballot says about itself.
The problem isn’t that people don’t vote; the problem is that candidates are in debt to the top 1%. When people see both parties as the same, why should they vote? Instead of just encouraging people to keep voting for the lesser of two evils, we need to get the 99% to run for office! We know what needs to be done – let’s elect ourselves to office and fix Wall Street!
This country was founded on the idea that the people are qualified to decide what is best for them, and that everyone has the ability to run for public office and represent their neighbors. You don’t need to be in politics for years to know that pollution is poisoning people, that everyone deserves a fair shot at a healthy, prosperous life and that corporations and the top 1% can afford to give back to society!
Here in Northern Virginia, there is already a group that stands with the 99%, it is the Green Party. Our party and our candidates take zero funding from corporations, PAC’s, and other special interest. We represent the needs of people first! Fairness, decency, respect, grassroots democracy, and equal justice for all are our values that we form policies and solutions on. Occupy The Ballot makes an excellent point – you do not have to be an expert on politics to know the system is rotten, and that it needs to be changed.
To join the Northern Virginia Greens and take a stand for the 99% in our region, click here.