Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pew survey shows Americans have mixed views of Occupy Wall Street

The latest Pew survey shows that Americans are still struggling with how to view the Occupy Wall Street movement. More Americans support the movement than oppose it, 44% to 35%, but that is not a majority of Americans. More Americans agree with the "concerns" of the protesters than disagree, 48% to 30%, but still not an overwhelming majority. Most notably, only a minority of Americans, 29%, approve of the way the protests are being conducted, although only slightly less than a majority disapprove, 49%. A lot of people are simply still unsure about the movement.
Sure, plenty of Americans, 51%, are concerned that Wall Street "hurts the American economy more than it helps it", and that plenty of Americans, 61%, believe that "the economic system in this country unfairly favors the wealthy", and plenty of Americans, 71%, believe that "a few rich people and corporations have too much power in this country", but somehow the protesters are getting the mistaken impression that they have more of a license for mayhem and throwing the baby out with the bathwater than the American people are actually willing to give them.
In short, although there is plenty of sympathy for the movement, there is also a much larger disconnect between the movement and the American people. In other words, the "representation" of the 99% by the protesters is of only mediocre fidelity, a somewhat poor facsimile. Of course, one might say the same thing about Congress.
One glaring problem with this or other surveys is that it doesn't ask the critical question of whether people agree or disagree with the aim of the protesters to completely discard our current system of representative democracy and replace it with "direct democracy."


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home