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Letter: Protests Worth a Second Look

It’s too easy for liberal Democrats to dismiss the Tea Party people as reactionary cranks and for the conservative Republicans to dismiss the Occupy Wall Street folks as hippie anarchists. Both protest movements have more in common with one another - and with the average American citizen - than with the dysfunctional system they are protesting.

These protestors are not nut cases or fringe extremists. They are our friends, families, and neighbors who are being taxed, downsized, and outsourced into poverty and homelessness; the scores of millions of working people who aren’t politically-connected bankers, businessmen, bureaucrats, lawyers, union bosses, or foreign governments.

We have a choice in America between the party of high taxes and parasitic government and the party of low wages and predatory corporations. The choice occurs within a situation in which capitalism is destroying the very middle class society it created in the 19th and 20th centuries as the failed Welfare State experiment continues to be built on the backs of working families. For millions and millions of Americans, that’s a Hobson’s Choice that offers them no hope of achieving what their grandparents called “The American Dream”.

Dressing up in Halloween costumes or Revolutionary War era outfits can’t solve complex economic problems. But - in contrast to mainstream Democrats and Republicans - at least the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements are willing to acknowledge that the system doesn’t work and that’s the first step to changing it.

Paul Manton
Levittown resident