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‘99 percent’ is American rallying cry

There’s a new American rallying cry of, “99 Percent”, on Wall Street this week. It started with a group of twenty-somethings who were generously referred to as ‘rag tag,’ who said they were occupying Wall Street and has grown to include fed up middle-aged, middle-income workers who can’t find a job.

The tipping point between an idea and a national movement is passing right before our eyes. Worn out Americans with a lot of other responsibilities are coming out to not only Wall Street but their local Main Streets to protest. This second wave of Occupiers, as they’re also being called, is not your typical protesters. http://occupywallst.org/

They bear more of a resemblance to the Silent Majority movement of the late ‘60’s. Average Americans who had previously supported the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War but got fed up enough with the lies they were being told and started to say no more.

The Silent Majority was unique for its time because it was made up of Republicans and Democrats, housewives and businessmen who finally caught on to the idea that they were being lied to and found their power in their numbers. It wasn’t the hippie movement we had grown used to seeing but made up of those who work within the system and like it.

The movement is largely credited with bringing the war to a faster close and Nixon suddenly going from bombing Cambodia to pushing peace talks.

The current phrase of 99 Percent refers to the majority of average citizens in the U.S. who are paying their bills, taking care of their families and getting out in their communities and often are left holding the bill. It’s the new nickname for the Silent Majority but with a twist.

The 99 Percenters get that we’re at war with our own financial system that has had the credo, the rich get much richer till they can’t be allowed to fail while the middle class foots the bill. We’ve had enough and we are taking back America by starting with occupying the street where it all began.

Every movement needs a good visual at first.

This week the movement spreads to other large cities and there are already murmurs from a lot of average citizens that they have plans to go and join. The Tea Party movement has even made appearances to rally the crowd. American voters have found their common ground.

All of us who have watched the giant bailouts of 2008 and 2009 for the financial gurus on Wall Street and in Detroit only to watch Wall Street go right back to their old ways, still pocketing billions of dollars at our expense, have had enough.

That other one percent, the richest amongst us in America who are often referred to as too big to fail, for the most part appear to still believe that this is all merely an annoying fly and will eventually die out.

I’m waiting for someone to send cake down to the protesters as an ironic joke.

They have fed us an amazing ad campaign that resembles the high fructose corn syrup commercials from this past summer that had one neighbor calmly informing another that anything natural and grown in American can’t be bad for us.

The other neighbor appeared to be stumped and changed the subject instead of offering rates on obesity or diabetes or the cost to the U.S. budget of subsidized crops.

The 99 Percent, which barring the right six numbers I will be a part of for life, is the group that is often spoon-fed ideas that often don’t serve us.

However, we are generally too busy with the day-to-day workings of our lives to really do much more than nod and keep going.

Maybe that’s how the idea that the wealthy hold our economic well being in their hands and unless they’re coddled we will feel a much worse economic sting got as far as it did.

However, unlike the clueless neighbor, we’re starting to catch on to a much bigger truth here.

No one on Wall Street or even in the halls of Congress cares all that much about how most of us are doing, financially. At least not enough to slow down their own machinations.

We get it, we’re on our own here and it will be up to us to gather together as Americans and put a stop to it. We’re not waiting for approval from the super rich anymore.

Martha Randolph Carr is a nationally syndicated columnist. Email Martha at Martha@caglecartoons.com.