Karl Denninger was one of the founders of the Tea Party back just a few years ago when some concerned conservatives wanted to fire back at the government for what they said was unjust practices.
Today, similar sentiments are being echoed by the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Is it right to make comparisons between the two groups? Denninger says that, yes, to some degree the comparisons are indeed accurate. The Occupy movement, however, can learn from some of the mistakes that he says the Tea Party succumbed to.
“The problem with protests and the political process is that it is very easy, no matter how big the protests is, for the politicians to simply wait for the people to go home,” says Denninger. “Then they can ignore you.”
With the problems posing Americans as big as they are though, said Denninger, it makes sense that so many citizens are joining the movement. Denninger acknowledged that much of America has lost jobs and homes and seen the stock market crash twice in only a matter of years. “People are saying, ‘You know what? I know I’ve gotten screwed by all of this but I don’t know how I got screwed. I just know that it happened. And it all came from New York and Washington DC.”
With the Occupy movement as broad as it is, some critics say the chaos and lack of a solid plan will be the downfall of the movement. Denninger says, though, that that could actually give the group leverage. And as the movement spreads from coast-to-coast and now abroad, perhaps he is exactly right.
“One of the things that the Occupy movement seems to have going for it is it has not turned around and issued a set of formal demands,” said Denninger. “This is a good thing, not a bad thing. Everyone is looking for a set of demands.” Denninger added that once the protesters formally approach the banks and government with a list of demands, “then somebody is going to say, ‘Well, we gave you 70 percent. Now go home.’”
In the case of the Tea Party, Denninger says such organization was actually the group’s downfall. “One of the things we wanted was the end to bailouts and an end to government deficit spending, and as you can see that didn’t happen,” said Denninger, who today manages The Market Ticker.
Denninger added that demonstrators with Occupy Wall Street and the offshoots across the world shouldn’t just abandon their goals. “Stay on message, which is that the corruption is not a singular event,” he said. “You can’t focus in one place. You have to get the money out of politics, which is very difficult to do, but at the same time you can’t silence people’s voice.”