Will The 99 Percent Occupy 2012 Elections?

While I voted yesterday, I thought about the Occupy movement.  As I cast a "yes" ballot for the right to buy alcoholic beverages on Sundays at package shops in John's Creek, Georgia, I thought about the many, many years of fighting between political parties that it took to even get this referendum for what is essentially an issue of convenience on the ballot. I wondered what the Occupy movement would look like ten or fifteen years from now, when many of the serious ideas they are putting into play in the political arena will finally be transformed into actionable legislation our elected representatives will have to take votes on.  

What does the Occupy movement do between now and then? There will be a long gap between the time the Occupiers leave the streets and the time their demands filter into the system. George Lakoff, one of my favorite political thinkers and one of the hundreds of writers who have signed on to support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement, has ruminated about this very topic in a new piece he wrote specifically for the Occupiers.    

“I was asked weeks ago by some in the Occupy Wall Street movement to make suggestions for how to frame the movement. I have hesitated so far, because I think the movement should be framing itself. It’s a general principle: unless you frame yourself, others—the media, your enemies, your competitors, your well-meaning friends—will frame you.”

“Frames are just structures of thought that we use every day. All words in all languages are defined in terms of frame-circuits in the brain. But ultimately, framing is about ideas, about how we see the world, which determines how we act. In politics, frames are part of competing moral systems that are used in political discourse and in charting political action. In short, framing is a moral enterprise: it says what the character of a movement is.  All politics are moral.”

 “It seems to me that the OWS movement is moral in nature, that occupiers want the country to change its moral focus. It is easy to find useful policies; hundreds have been suggested. It is harder to find a moral focus and stick to it. If the movement is to frame itself, it should be on the basis of its moral focus, not a particular agenda or list of policy demands.”

“The Public is not opposed to The Private. The Public is what makes The Private possible. And it is what makes freedom possible. Wall Street exists only through public support. It has a moral obligation to direct itself to public needs.”

“Remember: The Tea Party sees itself as stressing only individual responsibility. The Occupation Movement is stressing both individual and social responsibility…The Tea Party solidified the power of the conservative worldview via elections. OWS will have no long-term effect unless it too brings its moral focus to the 2012 elections. Insist on supporting candidates that have your overall moral views, no matter what the local issues are.”

George Lakoff on OccupyWriters.org

I’m no George Lakoff, who has been researching the power of political language for decades, but I am pretty good at thinking up catchy phrases and buzzwords. Since I’ve always liked the idea behind the period of American history known as Reconstruction, I imagined, as I walked back to my car yesterday after sticking my “I Voted” sticker on my shirt, that if I were an Occupy protestor, I would be sporting a black t-shirt with the phrase "I am a Reconstructor" printed on the front and the phrase "Financial Emancipation from Wall Street manipulation" printed on the back.

That, and a registered voter ID card in my pocket.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less
Promotional photo of Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones
Surprising Science
  • It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
  • In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
  • The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less