OWS has gotten the Charles Pierce to believe political physics have been turned over. He enthuses, “The opposition is more permanent that transitory politics.” As though every drop of water does not make up the ocean. Pierce is suggesting the forest can actually be decoupled from the trees. Political movements can change a country through money, bullets, or ballots- OWS does not have the first, won’t use the second, and are therefore stuck with the third. Some OWSers might argue that they’re paradigm breaking and what happen in the past does not matter for what they’re doing now. POLITICS SHALL CHANGE! Except that’s bullshit. You will not destroy Wall Street’s control of the government by trying to shame them and you’re not going to create a utopia in the middle of New York. At some point the money runs out and you have to start farming and you aren’t going to attract a lot of people to that.
OWS are going to vote and they’ll probably have to knock doors and vote for Obama. This is uncomfortable for them over the important issues they disagree with the President- civil liberties most obviously. But there’s room for optimism. While they might not get the perfect president they can get the perfect state senator. And while starting at the bottom is dispiriting, it is the reasonable place to begin if you’re trying to change a political culture. Ambition and patience is not a common pair but it’s the only way to change big business’s power over the government. Electing a dogcatcher will have a larger effect on permanent politics than hanging around parks yelling at fat cats.