Occupy Wall Street

After watching this video, I’m even more confused about what this woman’s motive is for participating in OWS:

So what is her goal?

Is it to end domestic abuse, and educate the judicial system and police about domestic abuse? How does wall street have anything to do with that? Is her motive to show that people are more important than money, and money has no value (as she said)? From what I’ve heard of OWS, many of the people in the movement think that the government needs to take more money from the rich, thereby showing that they really do think money will be part of the positive change they foresee in America (and therefore that money does indeed have great value). How can OWS truly hope to accomplish anything when their intentions are so convoluted?

Supporting a Movement That Has No Stated Goal

Yet even with such unfocused goals, the OWS Movement (reportedly) has the support of the majority of Americans. I think that in the minds of many Americans, OWS has become representative of every evil that we associate with crooked bankers and corrupt politicians. Even more so, I think that somehow, the movement is the embodiment of the overwhelming vulnerability and powerlessness that Americans are feeling today for countless different reasons. Perhaps the success of OWS is BECAUSE of the fact that it has not been able to clearly state its goals. This allows an otherwise inchoate movement to take on the form of every ill and evil that each American senses in a nation that has begun to seem like a hostile environment since 2007.

Finding Reasons to Unite

In the OWS Movement, I have seen YouTube videos from people who are Libertarians and others who define themselves as Socialists. In any other setting, people from such starkly contrasting belief systems could never co-mingle. Yet here and now, they’ve found a reason to come together; they’ve found a common ground of anger that has compelled them to demand change. Perhaps it doesn’t matter that the desires of OWS will never take absolute shape (and perhaps they never could, without disenfranchising a good chunk of the movement’s current followers). Maybe instead of seeing OWS as a ragtag gathering of people who can’t make up their minds about what they want, I need to see it as a cooperative statement of general discouragement and dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the United States these days. I think that most of us can agree that, if nothing else, things need to change for our country to prosper.

Instead of declaring that this is another “us against them” situation to ridicule and fight, can’t this be an opportunity for conservatives to make their own voices heard? Most of the conservatives I know can agree that change is needed. When so much of what is said in our country today is tearing us apart, separating us into starkly polarized liberals vs. conservatives, perhaps this movement in which people are exercising freedom of speech and the willingness to draw attention to a system that is not working could become the common ground where we stand together quite simply as Americans hoping for change — even if our ideas for how to accomplish that change do not agree.