An Open Letter to the Occupy Movement

 This is not likely to be short.

First - Thank You & Curse You
Thank you for your courage and strength for standing up for your beliefs - whether they align with mine or not.

For the majority of my life all I have seen of Americans has given me little to be proud of. An America that accepts things as they are most often, and chooses the lesser of two evils when they opt to bother to make a choice.

You, dear occupiers, have had enough and have chosen to make a stand. Any American that does that is a person that makes ME proud to be an American. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thank you for showing me that the America I learned about in school doesn't have to be a thing of the past. Thank you for showing me that enough people can care enough to come together and be seen. Thank you for waking me up!

Curse you for waking me up! My eyes have been opened to the nation around me - pried from the television and the computer with its cute kitten videos to see what? My friends and loved ones carrying on with eyes closed and heads in the sand. To a world where more people know the names of the Simpsons or American Idol judges than know the names of the people that represent them in Congress.

Second - Please Identify the Villains
Some are easy and relatively obvious - Chase, Wells Fargo, etc. Name them again. Over and over. Don't just say "Big Banks" Be specific. If the message gets out the Big Banks are the villainous - that's good. If the average complacent citizen is reminded over and over again that Chase a villain there is no room for doubt if "my bank" is one of the "bad" ones.

Some are not as obvious - which politicians are bought? The answer may very well be all of them, but when the average citizen sees a ballot, "All O. Them" won't be on there. Make them notorious, so that any person who doesn't pay enough attention will no to check the box next to a name he doesn't recognize.

Which corporations are doing the buying and the lobbying? Tie their brand to their actions. I suspect, but don't have the time to investigate, that McDonald's buys politicians and lobbyists. Bring their names, their logos, and their specific sins into the light of public scrutiny.

Third - Don't Make Demands
Demands are made by kidnappers in hostage situations. This isn't a hostage situation, it's a wake up call. It's a wake up call to the people of America, making them see what happens when they place their trust in politicians and then remain silent. It's a wake up call to the banks, that the people are watching and will hold them accountable. It's a wake up call to the representatives, that they too are being watched and will be held accountable.

Fourth - Stay a Movement
A movement is an idea, and an idea is better than a belief. A movement is all inclusive, a party is not. The powers that be can squash a party. They can smear a party. Your strength comes from your diversity - just as the strength of our country does.

How many votes are lost to concerned citizens over a specific issue - abortion for instance. If you form a party and take a stand you divide those who would otherwise stand with you. The stand the Occupy movement embodies is that as Americans we should take a stand. Whatever it is you believe in, stand for it. Don't accept tax breaks for the rich because the candidate that supports them also supports a couple of issues you feel strongly about.

Let the stance of the Movement be to take stand, use your voice, participate. Turn off the TV and quit placing the future of your children and grandchildren in the hands of whoever gives the best speech.

However, I am by no means suggesting not putting forth candidates. The Occupy Movement is in the unique position of putting forth the ideal candidate: The "None of the Above Candidate"

Find educated, well spoken, and capable individuals willing to serve as the voice of the disenchanted. Individuals with no particular stance other than the good of the people and the good of the country. Let their speeches be merely "If you disagree with or don't trust the other candidates, I will hold the position until a better person steps forward."

Take votes from the left, take votes from the right. Each of those votes will speak to politicians and would be politicians. It will let them know that towing the party line is no longer good enough. That having a (D) or (R) by their name on the ballot is insufficient to lead our country. That votes can go to good men and women who stand up for the citizens they represent - and not those catering to maintaining a division in our country. Rip apart the political parties, and hold each individual representative responsible for every vote he or she casts.

We don't send representatives to our state and national capitals simply to oppose whatever the other side wants to accomplish. Not anymore.

- At least that's the stand I'm taking, because you woke me up.