Dylan Ratigan Occupies Wall Street to Get Money Out of Washington

dylan Dylan Ratigan Occupies Wall Street to Get Money Out of WashingtonSay what you will about the drugs and the drum circles, the Occupy Wall Street movement has brought out a more radical side of Dylan Ratigan, MSNBC’s straight-laced global finance correspondent and weekday afternoon anchor.

Mr. Ratigan was down at Zuccotti Park most of last weekend, interviewing participants and chatting them up about his new crusade on behalf of campaign finance reform. Late last month, Mr. Ratigan established a foundation called Get Money Out with the goal of amending the Constitution to forbid private campaign contributions. Since September 27, he’s racked up more than 170,000 signatures.

“Some love it, some hate it,” he told Off the Record of the protesters.

But he’s not asking them to organize around his cause, or any other one, for that matter.

“The desire to create a list of demands is a function of those who are threatened, trying to put them in a box,” Mr. Ratigan explained.

By contrast, he’s been asking demonstrators about the various personal reasons that inspired their involvement. He’s compiled their answers for an entry on his Huffington Post blog and submitted it to the Occupied Wall Street Journal, though he is unsure whether or not they will publish it.

Just because the movement’s scattershot doesn’t mean there’s no solidarity, he noted.

“We’re asking, ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘What am I doing?’” he said, of the protesters. “That energy seeks to harmonize with itself,” he went on, building up some momentum. “It’s a million points of light, that’s a digital matrix of identity. It’s harder to digest the subject-object relationship. Simply one group of Us, this one gigantic group of Us.”

Mr. Ratigan’s recommends activists focus on principles and goals—what he calls an “open source” movement—rather than the existing mechanisms of change and power.

“We want to release our own egos from ideas and affiliations,” he said, “but we should probably exhibit a bit more compassion for the legacy systems—Mr. Business, Mr. Government, Mr. Media—the people who are threatened because they’re afraid they’re going to lose all that money,” he explained.

Like, say, cable news anchors?

“Yes!” he said. “That’s why I’m doing everything I can to define my voice, and get out of the business of going on television and reading information to people, which was the job I came into ten years ago.”

MSNBC has been slowly drifting out of that business, he elaborated, and looking instead for journalists who are also advocates. Glenn Beck, Keith Olbermann, and Rachel Maddow are advocates, he pointed out.

He was eager to note that the two-party system served us well through the 19th century.

“We need to honor and thank those systems,” he said…before we supplant them with the open-source movement.

But this is a revolution! Shouldn’t we burning something?

“To burn yourself in the town square is an indulgence of your own ego,” Mr. Ratigan told us. “Harness the anger to the threshold to burn yourself, organize it into a principled force of change. For me that’s what this amendment is, a positive channel for our frustration. And it’s a positive tool to begin a positive conversation.”



  1. Anonymous says:

    Keep up the EXCELLENT work Dylan.

  2. Bindelh says:


    When this movement has played its course and the marchers have marched and the signs have been carried and those who have been chosen have had their moments on the media outlets and all realize that nothing…. nothing has been done yet by Congress and the Attorney General then it is time to stop.

    Go to the store and buy a weeks worth of food and then ‘just stay home’ for a day, 2 days, 3 days or even more.

    We the people have the power.. to make it all stop. Nothing moves. Planes do not fly, taxis do not pick up passengers, trains stop, subways stop, trucks stop, ships do not get loaded or unloaded. No body goes to work not even the Doorman at the exclusive 5 star hotel.

    Yes that is correct.. Just make it all stop. Make it all stop until the Congress passes campaign finance reform, a ‘real jobs bill’ say $1.3 trillion initial investment by the government and the Justice Department begins substantive investigation and prosecution of Predatory Lending practices and Fraudulent Banking and Financial Transactions that got this country in to this situation in the first place.

    The only way these 535 folks up in Washington DC are going to listen to us is if we just make it come to a screeching halt for as long as it takes.

    Start a Block party in the street in front of your homes. Get to know your neighbors. Make it last for a couple of days or more.

    Get creative…. Show our ‘Solidarity’. MAKE IT ALL STOP !!

    Otherwise in 6 months the situation is going to get even worse and then what? More signs and marches and Media moments??

    But then, what do I know, I’m just an old ridiculous ‘radical’ from the 60’s.

  3. Egregory says:

    Go Dylan Go! This may be the greatest contribution to America you can ever make!

  4. Info says:

    Gotta give some of this credit to Randi Rhodes as well, who has been pushing her listeners to support this cause and sign up at Dylan’s site.


    Wednesday marked the six week anniversary of solar company Solyndra declaring bankruptcy.
    Despite this, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, Ed Schultz, and Al Sharpton have yet to report one single word about this growing scandal on their respective prime time programs.

    1. guest says:

      What scandal? That China can make solar panels on pennies cause they pay their scientist $4 a day? That America tried to boost up our potential but can not compete against such inhumane wages? And that America wont say one bad word about China??? What are you talking about? The obvious facts that are in front of your eyes, scandal please. The entire government is a scandal. Research is your friend…

      1. ABBFLA says:

        Solar panels do not work!  I’m an EE and I’d have all I could buy if they did.  It’s a cool idea, but just an idea.  The Chineese ones don’t work either.  That’s why you don’t have any either.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The hush-hush of politics is controlling a segment of people
    without those people recognizing they are being managed.

    Campaign laws are a great example; politicians exempt the
    commercial press, because the 1st Amendment prohibits abridging
    their freedom of speech and the press. But those same laws regulate grass roots

    Thereby, Americans are robbed of fair elections.

    Handing a megaphone to commercial media, themselves special
    interests dependent on the advertising dollars of other special interests,
    insure their monopoly in the market place of ideas.  Muzzling the grassroots does not level the
    playing field or protect we the people. When soft money is restricted
    incumbents win. When grass roots can spend unlimited soft money challengers are
    more likely to win.

    If the United States Supreme Court defined freedom of
    religion using the same logic that it has used to define a free press only the
    church or synagogue “as an institution” would enjoy freedom of
    religion, not its parishioners!

  7. Dbrettelle says:

    I signed the petition

  8. Bigapopka says:

    Why hasn’t the Tweeter and Face book web sites pushed the petition over a
    million signers.

    The campaign seems to be stalling.

  9. PattyBailey says:

    getting the money out of Washington is probably the only thing that will save our system of government