Sometimes 1 Percent is Enough. If, That Is, You're Willing to Stand Up.

Hey, one last shout out here for the Occupy Dallas people who camped at City Hall. I know you took a lot of grief from people who didn't understand why you were doing what you were doing, including me a little bit at one point. I hope you took note of the president's speech yesterday in Kansas.

He talked about Republicans who think the best answer to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is to wage class warfare on the middle class:

"I am here to say they are wrong," President Obama told the crowd. "I'm here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that we're greater together than we are on our own.

"I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. These aren't Democratic values or Republican values. These aren't 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They're American values. And we have to reclaim them."

You heard your name in there, right, Occupiers? The 99 and 1 percent theme is yours, and it looks as if it may become the single most important one in the upcoming elections. And how did you put it there? Did you raise $500 million and form a Super Pac? Did you hire a high-dollar ad agency to do lying mind-fuck ads about the president the way Mitt Romney did?

No, man. You marched and you camped. You got out there in your glorious funkiness, with your guitars and your tents. You did it with the magic power of standing up.

It's on the agenda now, at the top of the agenda, and you did it. You forced history not merely to take note of you but to turn a corner. You out-powered the money.

Hey, we don't know the end of this story. Never count the money out. Money doesn't get tired, and money doesn't give up. But you didn't give up, either, until you got rousted. Anyway, this is nothing but an expression of awe and respect.

Hey, did you see the story in the Times today about the protestors in Nice, France, calling for a "Robin Hood tax" -- a 1 percent on stock transactions to fund safety-net programs? Something to think about.

Like you need me to tell you what to think about. No, listen, here on out, you don't follow me. I follow you.

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze