Susie Cagle is a journalist and illustrator based in Oakland, California.
“What makes Occupy interesting as a power is its amorphousness. Journalists, pundits and everyday people debate what Occupy’s deal is, and in doing so help to mainstream progressive grievances. While they have by no means halted the rightward drift of the discourse that’s continued since 1964, they’ve at least inhibited it for the last few months; they’ve made everybody slow down just a damn minute. They’ve perniciously injected into our discussions ideas that would have seemed nostalgic or like some pointy-headed anathema just five years ago. Occupy’s vagueness demands that politicians and commentators approach it and engage it. They have to move left and ask if that’s enough. As soon as the movement is distilled to 10 targeted pieces of legislation with three-point action plans for each law, though, every Democrat on Capitol Hill can roll his eyes, go down the list saying, “Yes, no, hell no, yep, doable…” etc., immediately calculating which ideas can be gutted and sold out, which can get him reelected and which he can safely ignore.”