Occupy and Tea Party: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

OWS and Tea Party rallies

Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party are both populist movements that have angrily taken to the streets over perceived injustices about how the government handles money. Is there any room for common ground?

Why Occupy Wall Street Is Bigger Than Left vs. Right

In October 2011, Matt Taibbi wrote that, “Occupy Wall Street and the millions of middle Americans who make up the Tea Party are natural allies and should be on the same page about most of the key issues.” Specifically, the “incestuous political and financial corruption on Wall Street and in Washington. “

Occupying the Tea Party

Andrew Prokop, in November 2011, describes what happened when members of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street actually encountered each other. There was shouting and pushing. Two older women fell. “By the next day,” writes Prokop, “The story of the ‘attack’ by the Occupy movement had already entered conservative lore, and the ‘natural allies’ seemed further apart than ever.”

“If they could get over their biases, they do have a lot in common,” writes Julia McDermott (no relation), professor of speech in northern California. She notes that the Tea Party and Occupy not only share a sense of grievance but of powerlessness. “What good is a vote, when it seems that the politicians are for sale to the highest bidder rather than responsive to the concerns of the electorate?” she asks.

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