Occupy Wall Street Has Never Been Meaningful

Opinion

on September 18 2012 1:27 PM
Occupy Wall Street protesters demonstrated inside the lobby of JPMorgan Chase, in downtown Manhattan, Monday.
Occupy Wall Street protesters demonstrated inside the lobby of JPMorgan Chase, in downtown Manhattan, Monday. Reuters

Six months ago, Occupy Wall Street was an endangered species.  Now, it's safe to say, OWS is extinct, and for the betterment of our country.

That, however, is a side note to the real story -- has OWS ever really mattered?  The answer is no.  It has always been meaningless, nothing more than an entertaining spectacle to fill in the 24-hour news cycle.

Monday marked the one-year anniversary of the movement and, sure, there may have been a few hundred malcontents here and there shouting about the inequitable, unjust hand they've been dealt.  But ask yourself: What real, concrete change has OWS brought about?  None.

It's been a popular line of thought to compare the Tea Party and OWS.  Let's be real, though, these are two entirely different beasts undeserving of even a casual association.

In stark contrast to Occupy, the Tea Party has quite impressively changed the ideological spectrum in American politics.  Conceived from Rick Santelli's call for a nationwide Tea Party on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the grassroots movement has become a political powerhouse.

In less than a year's time, the Tea Party managed to support some 138 candidates in the 2010 midterms, according to The New York Times.  They upset a number of establishment Republicans in the primaries and started a meaningful discourse about what conservatism really means.  Shortly after the election, members of Congress created both a Tea Party House and Senate Caucus to represent their interests.

The Tea Party's voice extended beyond elections and Congressional organization and into everyday governing.  Even after Republicans trounced the Democrats in the midterm elections, President Barack Obama was asking for more stimulus.  It was the Tea Party voice that made this nothing more than a fantastical childlike whim.  And it was the Tea Party that held Republicans' feet to the fire during the debt ceiling negotiations, ensuring that they did not capitulate to Obama.

It is safe to say that the Tea Party has served as a sort of anchor, grounding establishment Republicans in the values of conservatism. 

Occupy Wall Street has played no such role for the already far-left Democrat Party.  Occupiers have succeeded at stinking up Zuccotti Park, trashing local businesses, spewing vitriol, and making headlines with their amusing extremity. But they have done nothing in the way of bringing their demands to fruition.  This should come as no surprise.  I struggle to recall the last time "defecating on doorsteps" got anyone anywhere.    

So, as we celebrate the one-year anniversary of OWS, we celebrate the downfall of a movement that was nothing more than an annoyance. And as we watch OWS becoming nothing more than a Twitter feed with dwindling followers, may we remember the legacy the Occupiers left behind. They may have been loud, but they were anything but meaningful.

Kayleigh McEnany is a writer and political activist who graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and studied at Oxford University. She is the founder of www.RealReaganConservative.com. She writes every Tuesday for the International Business Times.

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