Occupy Nation Analysis

1955 Words 8 Pages
Occupy Nation by Todd Gitlin is a quick and informative read that highlights the key aspects of the Occupy movement. The book seemed to mirror the movement itself with its tendency to stray from the norm by having frequent pictures of protesters littered through the pictures. It was very easy to read because of the descriptive language and narrative-style format. It read more like a story than an academic piece. On the other hand, Theda Skocpol and Vanessa Williamson’s The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism is written with a much more academic structure than Occupy Nation. However, I probably enjoyed Tea Party the most of the books we have read this semester because it was the most clearly written. Although the authors …show more content…
The media tended to portray the Occupy protests as highly disruptive and sometimes violent. The Occupy movement was frequently called out for having no leaders, no demands, and no obvious purpose. However, the negative coverage from the media seemed to motivate the protesters when “their scorn and incredulity actually raised the movement’s morale” (Gitlin, 2012, 143). Occupy seemed to delight in criticism. Jokes and catchy phrases flourished on the internet and drew the public’s interest to the issues raised by the Occupy movement and encouraged the public to learn more. Occupy’s message of fighting for individual rights permeated attitudes of citizens everywhere. On the other hand, the media seemed to play a detrimental role to the grassroots efforts of the Tea Party. The incorporation of the media into the efforts of the Tea Party actually diminished the activist role of grassroots Tea Partiers to the background for conservative politicians taking advantage of frightened and disillusioned Republican voters. Indeed, the primary media outlet of the Tea Party movement, Fox News, would often prominently display elites like Jim Demint or Dick Armey promoting their own agendas instead of grassroots protestors (Skocpol and Williamson, 2012, 152). Additionally, media output actually divided Americans even more than the movements themselves had already done. Fox News actively promoted an “us versus them” mentality in which …show more content…
Especially for supporters of each movement, ideas and motivation inspired by each movement have drawn more people into our nation’s political debate than ever before and driven the left and right even farther apart. Tea Partiers have become so opposed to liberal politics and shifted so far to the right that they blatantly refuse to trust any news source that is not Fox News. On the other hand, the Occupy movement seems to have sparked the desire of young people to fight for their beliefs. Without Occupy, it is doubtful that self-proclaimed social Democrat Bernie Sanders could have run such a successful campaign for the 2016 presidential election. So too could the Tea Party have led to the success of Donald Trump because it disillusioned so many Americans with the political system in general and elected the outsider.
In this time of divisive presidential candidates and a discouraged public, only one thing remains certain: we must continue to fight for what we believe in. The worst thing the public can do is remain silent on both social and economic issues that plague us. The Occupy and Tea Party movements allowed vast numbers of Americans to unite with a common purpose of taking back the country. Regardless of the views promoted by either movement, both have inspired their supporters to fight for their beliefs and voice their opinions on how to make our country

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