The past week has been tough for the Occupy protestors. With the news cycle changing and focusing on topics like Herman Cain and Penn State, their message has been put to the wayside. However, that’s not to say that they haven’t gotten any press:
Those are just a few of the stories one can quickly find when searching about news regarding the Occupy Wall Street movement. With each new day bringing new stories of OWS protestors creating havoc, murdering, and raping other citizens, the American people are starting to wise up to the fact that they don’t have as much in common with these protestors as the mainstream media once had them thinking. This is why it should be no surprise that cities across the country have begun a crackdown on the encampments, forcing protestors to at least temporarily abandon their protest.
To make matters worse, it’s clear that the Occupy protests are losing momentum. In fact, the once sympathetic polling numbers Occupy protestors were clutching onto have seemed to disappear:
For OWS, the latest opinion poll should be a wake up call. Early polls were favorable, but things have changed. Now only 30 percent of Americans have a positive view of the movement, and 39 percent have a negative view. It’s proving too easy for opponents to caricature OWS as a hodge-podge of extremists and oddballs — especially given reports of the violence in Oakland.
To sum it up? Occupy Wall Street has overstayed its welcome and now that people are getting killed mainstream America has decided that enough is enough.
This gets at the root of why the Occupy Wall Street movement was doomed for failure from the beginning; they have no means to their end. In other words, unlike other movements by the Tea Party and the 1960 Civil Rights activists, there was never a clear consensus on what was trying to be accomplished in order to create the type of change they were looking for.
For example, take the Tea Party. While there may have been a general consensus that government was too big, taxes too high, etc., there was no real consensus on specific reforms. However what Tea Partiers understood from the beginning is that if any reform was going to be made, it need to be made it would be by organizing proactive campaigns to elect leadership sympathetic to their cause. Meanwhile, protests were the mechanism in which they could garner the attention they needed. What Occupy has failed to realize from the start is that without any clue about what should be done after the protests subside, each passing day would make their protests look more and more like childish temper tantrums and leave their movement looking less and less relevant.
The other major hurdle that OWS will likely trip over is that even if they are successful in turning their rambling protests into a more cohesive political movement aimed at influencing elections, their movement hasn’t extended beyond the safety net of already liberal cities. Swing districts and battleground states have been left relatively untouched by the OWS movement. Coupled with falling poll numbers, it’s hard to see how OWS will have any real impact on the elections in 2012.
Does this mean that Occupy will disappear 100% in the next few months? Probably not. However, it’s become clear that the protests have reached their peak and the movement is no closer to achieving its goals.