Here are three words you don’t hear much about anymore: Occupy Wall Street. Here are two more: Tea Party. Are they both still around? Yes. They haven’t completely gone away but they are not the force they once were. OWS got labeled as a poor-hygiene hippy movement hell bent on not working for a living. While the Tea Party got labeled as crazy conservatives whose ideals were imbedded in the Stone Age with the same spelling skills as Cro-Magnon Man. Now they’re labeled: We’ve put them in a box, stored them for safe keeping and now use Facebook or Twitter to lash out. Ridiculous.
I’ve said this a million times, so at the risk of sounding like a broken record skipping during the chorus -- we are a two-week-cycle society that should pump ADHD medication into the water supply so we can get the assistance we need to stay focused. Everyone was clamoring about the presidential debate -- yawn. Seriously. Look around people. The only debate that will matter is the one right before the election, unless one of them says something so stupid that it can’t be ignored (like perhaps firing Big Bird, but who would say that?). Even the Big Bird statement isn’t strong enough, but it’s your sound bite for the next few days and then it dies and it’s on to the next shiny object designed to distract us.
What the Internet gives, the Internet takes away. The Tea Baggers enjoyed huge gains because of the Internet, but then we got bored with it all and turned our attention to something else. The Occupy Movement, same thing -- it had tons of traction, then people got bored. That’s not to say that the ideals of both aren’t out there; they are. You’re always gonna have a few that will continue to drive the movement. They’re just going to lack in numbers, and there’s power in numbers. Although the original excitement is gone around both, it doesn’t mean they are gone; we’ve just moved on. Even those that are firmly planted in those belief systems will often get bored with their own rhetoric.
As much credit as I give the Internet for creating things, we, as a society, need to move beyond the intertubes, get off the blogosphere and out of status update with hash marks and keep it on the streets. Also, somehow we need to drop the "Us and Them" thing. Yup, it’s time for me once again to launch my bid for the Pedestrian Party. This party is not a party at all really; it’s made of people born here and people who have come here for a better life. It’s open to all people including those in the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement and those that declare themselves Dems or Repubs. Talk about a movement: There you would have one of epic proportions. One that if it gained traction might just keep moving forward until we got rid of parties and started electing people again. Once we’ve started electing real folks, we’ll solve real problems. But what’s the definition of "real?" Well, that’s the $64,000 question. Hence, these short lived, run-out-of-gas uprisings that accomplish a little while they’re here but fade away almost as quickly as when they came.
I, for one, have grown a little tired of it. Do I get involved in any of it? The short answer is no. I don’t post anything political anymore. I really don’t write about my political views anymore for the simple reason that they’re mine and while some of you might agree it only serves to polarize us. Does that mean you’ll never get another political column out of me? No. Chances are you will. But, for the short term anyway, I choose to be a part of the solution and not the problem. I serve locally, on four or five boards that help kids, house the homeless, feed the hungry and fight the battle against cancer. This is how I get involved. That, to me, is the Pedestrian Party. I will never care what your political affiliation is; if you can’t afford to eat I’m gonna figure out a way for you to get some grub.
These are the issues that have legs and stand the test of time. What the hell is up with that?