Tea Party, Occupy Find Common Ground

Both despise the best democracy money can buy
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 23, 2011 2:59 PM CDT
Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street Members Find Political Common Ground
A person with an iPad takes a photograph of a large flag as demonstrators with 'Occupy Wall Street' occupy Zuccotti Park on September 30, 2011 in New York.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Occupy protesters and Tea Partiers are engaging in intense conversations and finding common ground, even if their basic philosophies clash, the Washington Post reports. Both despise corporate bailouts and the political influence of big money; both are struggling to get by. In one crossing of the aisle, a machinist and Tea Party member recently visited an Occupy Allentown demonstration, and was surprised by what he saw. “They didn’t stink, and they weren’t on drugs,” he said. “I could see me being them, 30 years ago.”

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One Minneapolis libertarian, saddened by the Tea Party's "religious" turn, posted an online letter seeking to join Occupy: "I sympathize with your cause and agree on our common enemy,” she wrote; the letter went viral. But one popular Occupy DC protester, Tobacco Thom, sees differences when he engages Tea Party types: They want tax cuts and reduced spending, while Occupiers prefer a strong government hand in fixing the economy. Still, Thom says, it's a worthwhile conversation: "We would love to be an example of what Congress should be doing—negotiate and find a middle ground." (Read more Occupy Wall Street stories.)

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