- If you ever want to be impressed by the thoughtfulness of the next generation of leaders, you need look no further than Stewart Towle ’12 and Nathan Gusdorf ’12, the two student participants in the panel and two of the most heavily involved members of the Occupy Dartmouth movement. I don't think we would agree on two many political or policy challenges
- They are in no hurry to organize a political movement. I think they are still experimenting with the cultural process of allowing their individual worldviews to be influenced by direct communication with other sympathetic individuals. They shared an interesting observation -- that the movement is what democracy "feels like."
- I don't think the members of the Occupy movement fully understand how little change they will see in our government's actions through nonviolent means unless the movement fields its own candidates. I went a step further in my remarks to suggest that effecting change through the political process was a nice alternative to martyring yourself for the cause.
In a moment of reflection, I offered that the Occupy movement is appealing to me based on the contradiction that it exposes in policy rather than individual policy positions. Specifically:
- You could tell me a story in which it is very important to move heaven and earth politically to step in and rescue financial firms that are about to implode. You could even tell me a story in which, unfortunately, those who broke the law or exercised poor judgment were not held accountable in the process, because we had to move quickly to intervene.
- You could tell me a story in which fiscal considerations prevent the government from transferring more public resources to those in need – be they unemployed, uninsured, undereducated, or merely unfortunate.