Friday, November 4, 2011

OWS: Winning the message, losing the movement

Steve Kornacki looks at polling about OWS and affirms some of my thoughts about how they're winning the message but losing the movement.

He cites the results of CNN's poll where, by a 2-to-1, margin people agree with the overall positions of OWS as compared to the Quinnipiac poll where a plurality of voters (39% to 30%) say they have an unfavorable view of the movement.

The good news for OWS supporters, per the CNN poll, is that issues that have been highlighted as a result of the protests — income inequality, the influence of the super-wealthy, the need for meaningful Wall Street reform and so on — seem to be resonating with voters...What OWS has succeeded in doing is injecting these concepts into the national political dialogue, where they’d been absent. This is no small achievement and it may even be making some Republicans in Congress nervous.

The Quinnipiac poll points to a potential problem, though, with voters possibly being turned off by the actual protests...

The risk for OWS is that clashes with authorities and more reports of disturbing activities at protest sites will continue to turn swing voters against the protests and that this will distract from the broader message behind the movement and overwhelm the very real progress that OWS has achieved in altering the political debate.

An OWS that is all about conflicts with law enforcement and municipal authorities over "occupying" public space is clearly not a threat to the 1% and does nothing to advance their message.

A successful movement would put pressure on the opponents you are trying to tackle. Some of the fringe elements that have erupted as a result of OWS are doing a better job of that kind of thing - like efforts to get people to move their $ out of banks and into credit unions.

My concern is that once again we see the left in this country letting the id overrule the ego in a narcissistic attempt to engage any opponent in rage...even the wrong one.


  1. Great post--and Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station said something similar:

  2. I'm pretty much pissed off at Occupy Oakland being so unprepared to deal with the black bloc assholes that always show up. I hate being so conflicted about the "movement".