Eccentric billionaire Sir Richard Branson somewhat surprisingly expressed his support for the OCW movement the other day, admitting they had “very valid reasons” to be protesting.
“It’s now up to the business community to ensure that we show the way so that they can go, the Occupy Wall Street can feel that they’ve done their job and go home, and they’ve made a difference, and I think they will have made a difference, hopefully,” Branson said.
Well, isn’t that special?
Perhaps I’m just an inveterate cynic (or curmudgeon, as some would have it), but as superficially pleasing as Sir Richard’s remarks may seem, it’s difficult not to immediately correlate them with those articulated recently by evil spinmeister Frank Luntz when coaching Republican politicians on how best to undermine the “scary” OCW movement with his cleverly disingenuous talking points:
’I get it.’ First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’… ‘I get that you’re angry. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.’
Maybe Branson’s own “I get it” sentiments are genuine, but they could also be a distinction without a difference in terms of the net effect of attempting to blunt the legitimate outrage at the current state of affairs with fake empathy and a nebulous vow to “show the way” in hopes the miscreant rabble will scuttle away, safely deluded in the laughable notion they’ve actually “made a difference”…