For the last week or so, I have been arguing with other members involved in the Occupy movement regarding a fundamental assumption. They believe that the apathy, short attention spans, and desire for immediate gratification that describe a vast number of Americans are obstacles to the realization of any change in our political system and must be addressed before any other action is taken. In this view, the American people need to be awakened and educated regarding the issues before change can occur. As a developmental educator, a political scientist who specializes in political change movements, and recovering alcoholic, I know from my experience, education, training, and observation that assumption is faulty.
I researched and wrote on political change movements for years as an undergraduate and graduate student at Johns Hopkins University and taught political science at several colleges before some life events moved me on a different path. I also have a law degree from Case Western Reserve University. I have continued to read, observe, and think about political change over the years.