WE THE PEOPLE: Is there any good from a protest that fails to bring about a change?

There is much criticism of the Occupy Wall Street protestmovement. A lot of the comments made by supporter and detractorsare valid and relevant. One of the good things that such a protestcan achieve for society is the focus of attention brought toimportant issues.

The mere fact that people are examining the validity of criticismmade by the protesters is good for the people of this nation. Wemust begin a serious dialogue about the economic and fiscalconcerns of our country. The dialogue should be conducted on manylevels if there is to be a chance that it will spark for positivechange.

If the interchange between the protesters and other people insociety could advance beyond the visceral reactions provoked by theparties themselves, then something positive will have beenaccomplished. Our lawmakers could use the example and try to engageeach other in collegial debate over our national issues which couldlead to action.

The super committee for fiscal issues turned out to be a superdisappointment but no one was really surprised at its failure. Thepeople of America need to shame the denizens of Washington, D.C.into actually taking action to help our people and our economy andour budget. It is good to be an optimist; however, every optimistis entitled to remain a cautious one until there is some evidenceof change.

Republicans and Democrats must be strong and find representativeswho will lead them without fear and actually pass laws that will dosomething for the people. Unfortunately, our lawmakers deserve thedisapproval that people universally reserve for them.

There is no reason that lawmakers cannot reach out to each other,even if their leadership disapproves, to propose and work onlegislation that is needed. The problem is that all lawmakers arepreoccupied with their personal goal of reelection instead of thegoals of the nation. I know that the automatic budget cuts whichshould be put in place since Congress failed to take action will bemodified before the first cut is put in place.

The OWS protesters have captured the attention of the nation, notbecause they have a clear message supported by clear logic, butbecause they make a point which resonates with working peoplethroughout the land. The nation’s economy and budget are out ofcontrol and the people we elect to deal with these problems havesteadfastly refused to take positive action.

If the Herman Cain sexual misconduct allegations or the NewtGingrich fat cat mortgage industry support allegations do notoccupy the headlines, the OWS movement’s criticism of a Gospel ofGreed may yet foster a salutary debate between the people of thenation, and then the people can decide how the nation will dealwith its difficulties.

Brian Kieran is a community activist who works for the Stateof New York and is a Democrat.

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