Campaign financing ought to top Occupy agenda

I agree that Occupy Wall Street needs to grow up to become the true anti-tea party it should be ("Time to grow up," Nov. 17). It needs to copy the highly successful, and savvy David Koch political tactics of the tea party itself. It needs to organize nationally and flood all political town hall meetings from now on with Occupy folks who shout the tea party down.

It needs to stage the largest protests on the Mall and the Capitol steps in history, demonstrations dwarfing those of the tea party. But above all, the Occupy protesters need to focus like a laser on a simple litmus test of all candidates running for office: Support public financing of political campaigns and the complete elimination of all special interest or private contributions forever. Public financing would neuter the hated top 1 percent and Wall Street crowd in one fell swoop, and return real power to the people.

As the tea party did so effectively in the Republican Party, Occupy needs to terrify Democrats and Republicans with the threat to drive anyone from office who fails to support and achieve public financing in the next Congress. And like the tea party, Occupy needs to back up its terror campaign by actually driving some veterans from office if they fail to seem committed to public financing.

The movement can either muster the massive public support needed to end the power of money in our politics or it can't. If Occupy can't muster such support under our current circumstances, the left is finished. If protesters can't become a true tea party of the left, it would be good for it and us to discover that as soon as possible, so Occupy sympathizers can stop wasting time and doomed hope on a movement that is simply futile at the ballot box, which is the only place power in America finally resides, as the tea party has shown us all.

Fred White

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