Interviewers have been asking me what the American Nations paradigm -- that the continent is really divided into eleven "countries," most of them centuries-old -- can tell us about the prospects of the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements.
Analyzing the Tea Party was relatively easy, as they've been engaged in electoral politics from the beginning, creating a wealth of data; my feature in the current issue of the Washington Monthly shows why the movement is doomed to failure in large swaths of the country. The results of last week's off-year elections bolstered the argument.
But the Occupy movement offers much less of a data trail: its newer; it has thus far spurned electoral politics; there's no "OWS caucus" in Congress to track. I've hypothesized that the movement would also face stark regional differences in popularity and leverage but, until today, didn't have any evidence to test the idea.
Today's article at the Washington Monthly's Ten Miles Square blog offers preliminary evidence that OWS is strongest in the very same "nations" where the Tea Party is weakest. But there's a surprise too: OWS appears especially strong in in the Far West, suggesting the (Tea Party-steered) G.O.P. coalition may be vulnerable to fracture. Enjoy the piece, and let me know what you think.
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