It's been a good year for the 1 percent.
The protesters who occupied public spaces in cities across the country, beginning with Wall Street on Sept. 17, 2011, garnered a great deal of attention for the idea that our democracy is being hijacked by the wealthy and powerful for the purpose of expanding their wealth and power. But any fair analysis of what has happened in the current electoral campaign would suggest that the wealthy have more power than ever, and they're not shy about using it.
On the very same day as the one-year anniversary of the first Occupy protest, the
Although Republicans have generally been the winners in the big-money game, it hasn't been because the
The Occupy protests were famously long on passion and short on identifiable agenda. The
The movement has not completely fizzled since the public protests ended. In Baltimore, for example, Occupiers have focused on applying the animating spirit of the protests to local issues. Recently, Occupy members rallied against
But the sense that the Occupy movement might galvanize a broad majority to change a political and economic system that favors the few has largely faded away, at least in the short term. The protests captured headlines around the world for months last year, but the movement's influence on the presidential campaign is subtle. President Obama's continued push for higher taxes on the wealthy fits in with the Occupy theme, as do the attacks on Mitt Romney's tenure at
Rather, it is the 1 percent, in the form of Super PAC donors and contribution bundlers, who are having the most direct impact on how this year's election unfolds. That is a direct rebuke to the legacy of Occupy — but perhaps also a call to arms.