I was down at Occupy Augusta yesterday and as always got into many interesting discussions about the movement; about irrigation for our farms, about how to make sure the folks at the encampments get warm food every day if the ban on fires continues, about the cooking of the state books that LePage is doing to try to cut benefits to those who need them most, how to build an igloo, where would be the best place for a greenhouse so that the OAers can get their seedlings started in the spring; all sorts of fascinating topics.
The most interesting conversation, however, was one we had as a group with a media reporter who had come down to cover the Governor’s announcement about his cuts in human services. (see above remark about book cooking). During this conversation the reporter quoted John Steinbeck: “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” There in a nutshell is the kernel of the problem. This is exactly how all of my Republicrat relatives and friends see themselves. They are against taxing the wealthy because they are sure that someday they are going to hit the big financial lotto and they don’t want the government taking anything away from them. This is the magical thinking that keeps the Republicrats in power. The “I’ve got mine and tough s**t if you don’t have yours”.
This is how those in power get the masses to vote against their own best interests. Until we can make them understand otherwise they will continue to be in the pockets of the TeaBaggers. I’m not trying to be pessimistic here just realistic. I do think that Occupy is starting to make a dent in this belief system and that is why I will continue to support them in any way I can.
My pot of chicken soup even got a mention in the Kennebec Journal article about the Occupiers.