Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
I’ll get to Gandhi’s words in a bit, but first, the suggestions of Frank Luntz to the question: “How can Republicans do a better job of talking about Occupy Wall Street?” It’s worth a few minutes, in part, for entertainment, and in part because the suggestions surely do represent the thinking of some on the Right. And probably some on the Left.
Actually, I think Democrats need to be asking a similar question, and come up with better answers than avoid and ignore; express “shared concern” but provide little to no actions to address said concerns; and taking the words of the Occupation and trying to cram them into a campaign sound bite.
For now, get yourself ready for “how Republicans can do a better job of talking about OWS.” From Chris Moody, via Yahoo News:
The Republican Governors Association met this week in Florida to give GOP state executives a chance to rejuvenate, strategize and team-build. But during a plenary session on Wednesday, one question kept coming up: How can Republicans do a better job of talking about Occupy Wall Street? …
‘I’m so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I’m frightened to death,’ said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation’s foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. ‘They’re having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism.’
Luntz offered tips on how Republicans could discuss the grievances of the Occupiers, and help the governors better handle all these new questions from constituents about ‘income inequality’ and ‘paying your fair share.’
Sitting in on the session, Yahoo News identified ten suggestions.
1. Don’t say ‘capitalism.’
… we’re replacing it with either ‘economic freedom’ or ‘free market’ … .
2. Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.’
3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the ‘middle class.’ Call them ‘hardworking taxpayers.’
4. Don’t talk about ‘jobs.’ Talk about ‘careers.’
5. Don’t say ‘government spending.’ Call it ‘waste.’
6. Don’t ever say you’re willing to ‘compromise.’
7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: ‘I get it.’
8. Out: ‘Entrepreneur.’ In: ‘Job creator.’
9. Don’t ever ask anyone you want them to ‘sacrifice.’
10. Always blame Washington.
Isn’t suggesting “don’t say capitalism” blasphemous? More significantly, here is what Think Progress had to say:
Frank Luntz is no minor pollster. … That Luntz is admitting the impact of Occupy Wall Street and the 99 Percent and telling closed-door meetings of Republicans that it frightens him is a huge victory for the movement.
Moving from the ridiculously revealing (I kept looking to see if he actually said this) to the thoughtful, about Gandhi, from OWS, regarding an action tonight:
A General Assembly at 10:30 PM at Lincoln Center. Join us in an open conversation about the effects of increased privatization and corporatization of all aspects of society, and the use of nonviolent civil disobedience around the world to reclaim the commons.
Composer Philip Glass will join the general assembly and mic-check a statement.
It is no doubt timely that Philip Glass’ opera ‘Satyagraha’ – which depicts Gandhi’s early struggle against colonial oppression in South Africa — should be revived by the Metropolitan Opera in 2011 … .
Satyagraha is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘truth-force,’ and we at Occupy Wall Street, by exercising tactics of nonviolent direct action inspired by those championed by Gandhi, have insisted that the truth be told: … We have lost homes, jobs, affordable education, natural resources, and access to public space.
Also today, via OWS’ Twitter feed:
QOWSt World AIDS Day rally starts at 10AM in Liberty Plaza NYC. Followed by march and direct action. …
ByeByeDWI RT @BostonGlobe: #OccupyBoston and the city are headed to court today at 9 a.m. b.globe.com/tipGRi #OWS
And this, via OWS:
The NYC Central Labor Council has called a march on Dec 1st for Jobs and Economic Fairness BOLD that’s ‘not just for the labor movement, but for everyone who is frustrated and worried about the growing economic disparity in this country. It’s for anyone who has ever agonized about finding a job, paying for college, meeting a mortgage payment, or how to buy enough food for dinner.’ #OWS will be there.
And thanks to Art for this Occupy DC Action Alert regarding the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, via Huffington:
What – Occupy DCCC
When – 5 PM, Thursday, December 1
Where – Gathering at McPherson Square, marching to 727 15th St NW
On the two-month anniversary of Occupy DC representing the voices and interests of the 99%, we will march on a Democratic Party fundraiser charging $5,000-$75,000 per dinner. This elitist event is indicative of how the Democrats represent a major part of our government’s failure to represent 99% of its citizenry.
The Huffington piece included this:
A Democratic operative, responding to the action alert, noted that there may be a political upside: Republicans will have a harder time accusing Washington Democrats of orchestrating the Occupy movement.
Thanks to Taylor for this one, from Politico:
A source sends over the transcript of an interesting robocall made last week, talking up the Occupy movement but without a group taking credit for it:
‘This Thanksgiving we need to think about what ‘Liberty and justice for all’ really means. Consider these facts: the big banks have foreclosed our homes, shipped our jobs overseas and are sitting on over $10 trillion while our nation goes bankrupt. … We the 99 percent can make a difference. Call the White House, Congress and City Hall. Tell them that liberty and justice for all means breaking up the big banks and jailing the Wall Street con men.’
It’s rare for the group behind a robocall like this one to avoid taking credit for it, and raises the question of who’s spending money promoting Occupy.
I’ve seen guesses about who’s behind the calls ranging from Obama to the Koch brothers to “terrorists.”
Personally, I’ll keep hoping for more “truth-force.”
(Poster via OccupyDesign)