Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm A Bad Liberal

I don't have any strong opinions on the Occupy movements going on across the country.

I've seen some opinions volley back and forth on the various social networks- clever videos or pictures.  I've read a few articles and listened to pieces on NPR.

But I'm not very educated on the Occupy movements, I'm not very interested, and I haven't really been very concerned.

I think that when I was younger and full of idealistic values, I might have been involved in some of these protests.

But now I'm an adult with a job, a family, and responsibilities.

I get that our country isn't the best.  What country is?  I don't know.  I understand that the protesters are standing up to fight against corporate sway over politics- I agree with that.  I understand that the protesters have a list of demands- I'm trying to find that list.  I know that the protesters have been pepper sprayed and that there are videos showing protesters being treated unfairly by police in what seems to be a peaceful protest, a peaceful gathering.  I know that the protesters are a mix of age, gender, race, and religion.

Yesterday, I saw an article and found myself shaking my head at the Occupy movement.  There is a plan to Occupy the ports of the West Coast.

How does that impact the 1%?  How is that going to hurt them?  What about all of the everyday workers who are impacted by that choice?  What about the dock workers who are part of the 99% who won't be able to work?  What about the manufacturing line workers who get sent home because the line gets shut down because they don't have materials- materials that were shipped and now stuck because they can't get in on the West Coast?

I saw a brief news piece on a protester who is now seen as a "traitor."  She said that everyday, people walking by would say things like, "Get a job!"  She felt she didn't have a good answer to that.  So she printed up her resume and made a sign that said she was looking for work.  She went from Occupy Wall Street to occupying a desk on Wall Street where she could end up being part of that 1%.

Maybe I'm "asleep" or maybe I'm "wearing blinders" or maybe I'm just not taking my liberal, bleeding heart seriously.

Or maybe I'm too busy impacting the lives of people around me.  Maybe I'm working my job in Corporate America and I'm saving for college for my kids and I'm blessed that this job offers health insurance and dental insurance and maybe because of this job, my family has a bit more security.  And maybe because of all that, I'm able to help others more than I would otherwise be able.

Part of me is intrigued by the Occupy protesters.  Part of me wants to learn more.  Part of me remembers my own activist heart and the things I used to stand for.

Most of all, I admit to being ignorant and staying ignorant.  Even after doing some reading before writing this blog post, I still feel pretty ignorant to exactly what kind of change needs to be seen to satisfy the protesters.

And the reason for my ignorance?  I'm busy.  Too busy to take time to go and protest something that I don't fully understand.  Too busy to take a day to read and listen to all the coverage and interviews and articles and YouTube videos.  My life is full of commitments and responsibilities that don't mesh well with these protests.

My only hope is that the protests stop disrupting the lives and jobs and businesses of people who are struggling- just like most of the people in this country.  Impacting local restaurants or shops, impacting imports and exports or other transportation, impacting "blue collar" jobs while attempting to make your point seems to defeat the purpose.

Have you had any Occupy experiences?  Are you ready to gather up your drum and dance topless to end corporate greed?  Are you prepared to be pepper sprayed because you stand up against the Big Banks?

Me... I'm just going to keep up with my own movement.  Occupy Liz.



AndreaV said...

Here is the perspective of some of those folks who are impacted by the efforts to Occupy the Ports. It isn't so simple, is it?

Katherine said...

I'm with you. I have also been a bad liberal. I get that things are bad and I sympathize with the Occupy movement, but I'm so busy that I just keep my head down and plow through my days.

Karen M. Peterson said...

This does not make you a bad liberal. I think it makes you a smart one. To me, being a liberal or a conservative shouldn't mean jumping on every bandwagon and blindly following the latest move. Instead of supporting people when you don't know why they're doing what they're doing, you're standing back and letting them be.

I wish more people would do that, to be honest.