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Political Column: Is Anyone Paying Attention?

Daniel Caccavale

            By now, most people have heard about the Occupy movement sweeping our campus, state, the nation and the world. Nearly twenty movements have sprung up worldwide and are currently taking place. The movements are fighting for several things: government reform, worldwide democracy, job creation, and the sharing of wealth more evenly. These are all great things to fight for and things that everyone should be interested in, but has anyone noticed that the people who matter don’t seem to care?

Let’s focus on the United States of America for a quick second. When was the last time President Obama went on the air and acknowledged the Occupy movements? The local governments have been paying attention, but normally only to tell people to get up and go home. The Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, announced that protesters have until this past Monday, November 28th, to clear out. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg had Zuccotti Park cleaned out at one in the morning. They have stated that these measures are for everyone’s health and safety, which is understandable. They say that they are sympathetic to the cause, which may or may not be true, but either way they don’t show it properly.

The actions of these local governments indicate that they couldn’t care less about what the people want; they only care about the condition of the parks. But maybe everyone is going about this all wrong. Politics is about give and take, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. If all these local governments want the parks cleared and the movements to end, give them a reason for it to end, actually do something. If Mayor Bloomberg wants the movement to tone it down then he has to give them reason, start passing proposing legislation or taking the initiative to attempt a change that will help create jobs that will help distribute wealth. This is not something that is going to be healed overnight; it is going to take time and work on both ends.

As for President Obama, he needs to begin paying attention to what the people want. This is no longer a movement that is occurring in one place; it is nationwide, which means the federal government needs to start paying attention to it. Obama sits in the one seat that can actually propose ways to create jobs and he has yet to do so; he has yet to say anything on the Occupy movements at all. Congress itself hasn’t done anything either, and its members are the ones that can actually create the legislation in the first place. Maybe if there was an Occupy Washington D.C. movement they would care, maybe not. The problem is that all of these politicians, including Obama, get their money for their elections from these big businesses.

For now we just have to hope that someday someone will listen. Perhaps this is what America needs. These movements could cause the election of the next great president. All it takes is the right person to want to run and to care enough to start pushing for the changes that not only America needs, but the entire world. Only time can truly tell.

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