Occupy Wall Street has been criticized for many things — most commonly its lack of leadership and specific goals. But these are the very things giving it momentum. Its bipartisan, horizontal structure has kept it open to people of all occupations and political persuasions. Its lack of specific goals has created an inclusive atmosphere of dissatisfaction that has tremendously broadened its constituency. Other criticisms look only at its fringe elements, incorrectly making assumptions about the whole — a common trend in our media outlets where standardized ideology is consistently served as a single-course meal.
Despite these factors, or because of them, this movement has grown exponentially. A recent Time magazine poll reported 54 percent of Americans hold a favorable view of Occupy Wall Street, compared to 27 percent with a favorable view of the Tea Party. Unlike traditional protests with policy or similar demands, this movement has become a platform for demanding clear answers. Why are protesters going to jail while Wall Street remains unfettered and unaccountable? Why are members of Congress exempt from insider-trading laws? The people want to know: Is America a corporatocracy?
While some pundits still argue over the legitimacy of the movement, remarkable accomplishments have already been made. On Capitol Hill, topics such as income disparity, financial regulations and antitrust legislation can now be heard among conversations about the deficit. Such small victories, however, are far from satiating. One thing is for certain: Expect more from the Occupy movement.
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