As I write this, there are about one and a half hours left before the deadline Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed set himself for actually enforcing the law against camping in city parks — er, I mean for Occupy Atlanta folks to comply with said law. I wrote several days ago that Reed should enforce the law, and I still believe he would be wrong to let the Occupiers continue to take advantage of his lenience.
But today’s post is directed toward the Occupiers themselves.
I understand that some of you don’t appreciate comparisons to the tea party — and that the feeling is reciprocated. But the fact is that the tea party became an influential political movement not because of its ability to stage large rallies on a recurring basis, but because of its ability to work within the political process.
The Occupy rallies are small by comparison, and I would be interested to see whether your numbers would grow or shrink if you were to pack up and returned, say, two weeks from now. So I’m skeptical that you Occupiers command the same sort of support the tea party movement did even at an early age. More importantly, however, this is not a country (or city) governed from the barricades.
If you want the 98.99 percent to take you and your cause seriously — and I’ve argued that’s worth doing to some degree, in some cases, to the extent we know what your cause is — then prove you have respect for the rule of law. Even if you’d have us change some of them.
– By Kyle Wingfield