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Post Partisan
Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 10/05/2011

The common link between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party


More than a few people took issue with my post on “what Occupy Wall Street could learn from the Tea Party.” Some don’t see a connection between the two movements at all. But I just received an email from a Tea Partyer from Ohio who eloquently makes the case. With marchers descending upon Wall Street, read the letter from Mark of West Chester, Ohio. (He asked that I not use his last name.) An alliance between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party as Mark describes would be impossible to belittle or ignore.

Dear Mr. Capehart,
I am aligned with the Tea Party (I hesitate to say I’m a member, because as far as I can tell ”membership” doesn’t really exist).
When watching Occupy Wall Street get going, my first inclination was to denigrate what these folks were doing, as a lot of conservative pundits are doing.
But then, out of curiosity, I went to the web site for “We Are The 99,” and frankly, that opened my eyes.  A lot of these folks are like anybody else - pursuing the American Dream.  But that dream is not really available to many of these people.  In so many cases they have gone to college, have gotten degrees that should be useful (but aren’t), have huge student loan debt, and are living in their parents homes and/or working at multiple minimum-wage jobs.
I see a lot of similarities with the Tea Party. Tea Party folks are for following the Constitution and the fairness and equality of opportunity that comes from that.  So they are in agreement with Occupy Wall Street folks on things like special deals for anybody (corporations, rich people, or whoever) that are achieved by lobbying and buying off our elected representatives.  Both see corruption in high places - corporations and government - and those two areas are so closely aligned, that I don’t think there is really much of a difference between criticizing the tyranny of corrupt government and the tyranny of corrupt corporations.
So now I am rooting for something good to come out of Occupy Wall Street, and I hope that the Tea Party will see the similarities I see, and also the possibility of both groups working towards some of the same aims.
Regards,
Mark
West Chester, Ohio

By  |  11:45 AM ET, 10/05/2011

 
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