Modern Occupation

“The Silent majority” was Richard Nixon’s 1969 term for the upstanding Americans who disdained the damn dirty hippies and supported the president’s management of the Vietnam War. Four decades later, the American left—Nixon’s vocal minority—has generally greeted tumultuous times not with street theater but with … blogging.

This fall, though, dissenters have emerged from cyberspace for Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, Los Angeles and more than 20 cities in between. In Las Vegas, protesters gathered Oct. 6 on the Strip to criticize what they see as a political-financial complex that has forgotten the struggles of American workers, students, small-business owners and mortgage-holders. This, the protesters say, is the new silent majority—the 99 percent. Whether they’ll keep making noise remains to be seen.