GOP candidates not all opposed to occupy movement
Published: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 23:10
The Occupy Wall Street movement is still growing, so much so that it was a topic at the Oct. 18 Republican presidential debate held in Nevada.
Since only three of the candidates had an opportunity to weigh in on the issue and two candidates were not present, I did a little digging.
I was surprised to find the candidates' views on the Occupy Wall Street movement are not all the same.
In fact, of the eight candidates, only four are adamantly outspoken against the protests. The other four vary in levels of support.
The two men considered to be front-runners, Herman Cain and Mitt Romney, have been outspoken against the protests that are spreading throughout the United States and even around the world.
They are joined in their opposition by Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann.
During the debate, Cain was challenged regarding his remarks that the protestors should blame themselves for their economic situation. He stood by his words and reiterated the problem is Washington—not Wall Street—asking if protesters thought the bankers would "write them checks."
Romney agreed with the sentiment of blaming President Obama for failed policies. The following day, Bachmann, speaking at the Commonwealth Club of California, railed against the notion of any similarity between the Occupy movement and the Tea Party because "the Tea Party picks up their own trash."
Cain and Romney have spent the majority of their careers in the private sector. They have made their personal fortunes in an honest way. I get that. Good for them.
Bachmann and Gingrich combine for over 30 years of politics. They are indoctrinated in the status quo of corporations funding political campaigns. I get that, too.
But their criticisms of the Occupy movement are indicators that they just don't get the issues that are important to the majority of Americans.
Ron Paul used the debate to take a well-placed jab at Cain. He stated his opponent was "blaming victims" because the Occupy Wall Street movement is comprised of many who were foreclosed upon or lost their jobs because of the fraudulent policies of the banks and the Federal Reserve. Paul indicated an understanding of the frustration driving the movement.
Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman have also expressed a certain amount of sympathy to the Occupy movement.
Santorum has stated that he doesn't agree with the solutions he believes the protesters are seeking, but he believes they have a "legitimate claim" to their frustration.
No candidate, however, has been as supportive as Buddy Roemer, who not only spoke out publicly in support of the movement, but actually took part and visited the Occupy Wall Street protesters on Oct. 11.
Furthermore, Roemer is the President and CEO of Business First Bank!
That's not a typo. He's a banker who supports a movement that condemns predatory practices in the financial sector.
He's a politician who supports a movement that condemns politicians being heavily influenced by corporate donors.
Clearly, Roemer understands not only what the Occupy movement is about but also what America needs—a governing system that is less about the corporations and banks and more about the people.
Gingrich called the movement a "natural outcome of a bad education system, teaching them really dumb ideas." The dumb idea is sitting back and doing nothing.
The Occupy movement is about ending the slacktivism that plagues America.
It's about standing up and letting the government know we want them to be accountable to the citizens while letting greedy corporate and banking executives know that we are not afraid to take control of our money.
I just hope when election time comes we all occupy what matters—the voting booths.