Occupy Wall Street—Richard Geller

Some thoughts after reading Fast Company’s “The Inside Story Of Occupy Wall Street:”

Those old enough to remember the civil rights movement and the anti-Viet Nam war protests of the 60’s, know that fundamental change does not really come from Washington. “When the people lead, the leaders will follow” is unfortunately closer to the truth—unfortunate only because things have to get pretty bad before large numbers of people take to the streets in protest. But this cycle has been repeated often enough that there should be no surprise when it does happen.

We are at another such point in our history when government has become so thoroughly dysfunctional, so firmly committed to maintaining the status quo, that fundamental reforms are required to assure the most basic expectations of any stable modern society: universal, affordable access to quality education and healthcare, an economic Bill of Rights for all citizens, renewal of infrastructure, the rule of law, and a restoration of government’s system of checks and balances.

When we have hundreds of thousands marching on Washington and in all the cities of this country, some of our elected representatives will awaken to the urgent need for reform. For now, they are in denial that they are (both Democrats and Republicans) wholly out of step with reality.

Properly framed, there are only seven or so basic issues that most Americans expect their elected officials to work, and no political rhetoric of finger-pointing and fear mongering, whether from the right or the left, will hide their failure to do the actual job for which they’re elected.

For most, I suspect their time has passed. We need younger representatives, who understand the world as it is now, who are ready to work the real problems and seek viable, sustainable solutions and not those who stubbornly cling to a world that no longer exists.

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