For the movement that has supposedly gripped the nation and has the whole world watching (and snickering), you would think the goal to have student debt eliminated (pure fantasy, of course) would have hundreds of thousands of the indebted rushing to sign up, right?
Uh, not exactly.
Over the past three months, as Occupy Wall Street has pitched a tent in the American consciousness, doubters have had the same refrain: “But what do they want?” Mothers, uncles, family friends, family of friends, they’ve all asked me—their token 20-something—some version of this. They argued that a movement was not a movement just because it wanted to move somewhere. It also needed to know exactly how it was going to get there. Apparently, all revolutions must now come with a built-in GPS.
A month ago, Occupy Wall Street made a demand. Or, as is the way in the nested hierarchy of OWS, a subcommittee of a committee of the movement made a demand. They want all student debt in the country forgiven. All $1 trillion of it. And if the government would be so kind, they’d appreciate if it would pay for higher education from here on out, as well.
So this is what they—or at least some of they—want. But what has happened with this proposal, this great demand that we’ve all been waiting for?
Hardly anybody has cared.
The number cited in the story is slightly lower than what current is on the site, currently at 2,719.
Such a paltry number, despite a ton of free publicity. Surely this is a measure of the apathetic feelings toward this movement, largely propped up by a sympathetic media.
And yet, Occupy Student Debt still only has those 2,694 signatures. Only 997,306 more pledges to go before its trigger kicks in. It is not that the media has ignored it. Fast Company, the Huffington Post, and NPR have all covered the campaign. And in theory an increasingly campus-centric protest like Occupy should be able to drum up signatures about an acutely collegiate issue.
So, what gives? Given the clamor for reform, the ongoing discussion of a shrinking middle class, and the 2/3 of 2010 graduates with student debt, you’d think now would be the time for this kind of thing to work. That people would be so fed up, they’d be willing to risk their future to save it. And yet, no.
Could it be that there just isn’t an appetite for this kind of radicalism?
That indeed appears to be the case. Who in their right mind wants to camp out in crime-infested, lurid environments with a bunch of life’s losers? Most of the useless scum you see protesting seemingly are more concerned with where they’re getting drug and alcohol money for the night, never mind paying off any debts.
Enough nails have been hammered into the coffin of this blight on the American landscape. May this be another reminder, and a signal to the media, that the party is over.
Apparently the author of the article has yet to connect the dots, despite the evidence.
As Occupy Wall Street has grown, it warped from a fringe radical movement to a mainstream political one. (Much the same happened to the Tea Party.) Its own popularity–however fleeting–overwhelmed its original base, both ideologically and physically, and it spilled from the radicalism of Zucotti Park into the diversified streets of the country.
Can anyone even find an encampment that’s left?
Amusingly, from their site you can also find links to faculty and non-debtors who’ve also signed the pledge. It sure doesn’t look like these miscreants have much support from academia.