Thursday, October 27, 2011

Occupy the Central Valley

Occupy Wall Street — the loose movement decrying corporate greed and government complicity — hasn’t made an appearance in Tracy, to my knowledge. But it has appeared in San Joaquin County.

A smattering of protesters has been sighted in the downtown of county seat Stockton, carrying the now well-known “We are the 99%” signs and trying to convert passers-by to the cause.

Still, some folks seem unsure about what the protesters want. In fact, some of the protesters don’t even seem to know what they want.

In my opinion, they’re standing up for a very American principle — the idea that when power is concentrated in the hands of too few, democracy dies.

Whether in the form of wealth, political influence or a police state, too much power spread among too few is anathema to the republican form of government envisioned in the Constitution. And that’s true whether those few are government officials, businessmen, or anyone else.

I think the protesters are, though maybe not in eloquent terms, giving voice to the simmering sentiment that the American deck is more and more stacked in favor of those with the deepest pockets, biggest microphones and closest connections.

I don’t think these protesters want a hand out. I think they want a level playing field.

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