Why you shouldn't compare Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party
Many are calling Occupy Wall Street the left's version of the Tea Party, but that comparison might not hold water. (Getty Images)
October 18th, 2011
07:30 PM ET

Why you shouldn't compare Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party

By Ishaan Tharoor, TIME

With the Occupy Wall Street protests gaining steam in the U.S., it seems obvious to link the movement with the other grassroots movement that recently shook up American politics: the Tea Party. President Barack Obama did it this morning, telling ABC that the protesters in downtown New York are "not that different" from the Tea Party: both the right and the left feel "that their institutions aren't looking out for them."

My colleagues' pieces number among a flurry of others pondering the parallel. Michael Scherer recast Occupy Wall Street as the Tea Party of the American left. Roya Wolverson suggested how the two movements, coming from diametrically opposed sides of the political spectrum, could find common ground (and perhaps policy influence) in their mutual distaste for a Washington dominated by the vested interests of corporations. But while the similarities are noteworthy, they obscure more relevant truths about Occupy Wall Street, the supposedly inchoate movement that has transfixed the American media in recent weeks. I enumerate these truths after the jump.

Read the full story on Time.com

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Topics: Economy • Occupy Wall Street • Politics • United States

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soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Onesmallvoice

    Comparing the Occupy Wall Street Movement to the Tea Party Movement is like comparing night and day. The Occupy Wall Street Movement wants change whereas the Tea Party Movement wants to keep things pretty much the way the are right now.

    October 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  2. The Voice of Reason

    People are a nation. A government is supposed to be first, and foremost, the common ground and the embodied representation of the people. Some governments are a massive distortion and convolution of this idyllic concept. The business and goals of government has not only forgotten their people, it has in some cases forsaken them, and suppressed them in others, sacrificed them, and in the most more extreme cases, outright murdered them. It is everyone's right to analyze, discuss, argue, and criticize the Occupy Wall Street movement as much as it is everyone's right to speak out, protest, and demonstrate. However, the unavoidable fact and undeniable consensus can only be that something is definitely happening, and something is definitely wrong. What remains to be seen is who and how many actually care enough to do something about it. Yes the cause is real and the stakes are immeasurable. But until a proper battle plan is drawn and an infallible leader chosen, the movement will not give rise to the tide of followers lying in wait.

    October 18, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  3. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    That's why.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • Rz

      GOP....Greed Over People party...., could be catchy.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Reply
  4. Robert Chesnavich

    For those who disagree with this article and want to see the two movements working together:

    http://www.teapartyoccupiers.com/

    October 19, 2011 at 12:36 am | Reply
    • Rz

      The hijacking of a spontaneous uprising by another faction is often anticipated (see February and October Revolutions of 1917). For the the OWS movement, such anticipation is extremely high given its lack of designated leadership and the approaching federal election. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the Tea has been laced with Vodka.

      October 19, 2011 at 7:17 am | Reply
  5. j. von hettlingen

    The most notable difference between the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street is that the Tea Baggers are hostile toward the Obama-Administration and determined to unseat Obama. Members of the OWS are dissatisfied with the government. They want to fix it, not to undermine it.

    October 19, 2011 at 9:17 am | Reply
  6. Occupado

    90 percent of the Tea Party is college educated, they pay their college loans, they only want the government to balance its budgets like they balance their checkbooks, and they don't defecate on the sidewalks.

    The Tea Party shows up for elections, too. The occutards don't even know when it's Tuesday.

    October 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Reply

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