Skip to comments.Occupy Wall Street Is No Tea Party
Posted on 10/23/2011 10:49:00 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
The word of the year has been extreme, usually to describe the Tea Party its hard line strategies for bringing down the deficit, lowering taxes, and supporting markets. Another vocabulary token, usually thrown around when political extremism needs a synonym, is intransigent. If a journalist was looking to shame plucky House members waffling on the debt ceiling, you can bet he talked about some pretty extreme intransigence occurring on Capital Hill. Mysteriously, I notice these political buzzwords have been generally absent in media descriptions of Occupy Wall Street. While I concede that OWS has given the Left a morale boost and vents understandable frustration, many of the policies and actions that have come to characterize the movement, such as universal debt repudiation, defecation on police cars, refusals to temporarily vacate private property, anti-Semitic rants, and the occasional hammer and sickle flag are, well, not mainstream. In fact, the Tea Party movement is far more moderate, and coherent, than OWS.
When one million Tea Partiers showed up on the National Mall on Sept 12, 2009 for their first big unifying rally, there wasnt a single arrest. Tea Party folk were not seeking a standoff with the police and werent putting city leaders in the precarious position of balancing free speech with laws protecting private property, zoning, and park regulations. Thats quite different from flooding Lower Manhattan for an indefinite amount of time, taking advantage of private nearby restrooms, and refusing to evacuate, even temporarily, so the city could hose down Zuccotti Park. In New York City alone, residents have gotten stuck with $4 million in overtime costs. In contrast, as the Tea Party Express pulls into town, organizers are sure to file a permit and arrange for appropriate clean-up. Generally, they remove their tri-cornered hats and go home before dusk.
Whether or not they appreciate the Tea Party platform or Betsy Ross-inspired wardrobe, Americans understand where the Tea Party stands on the political issues of our day and judge accordingly. Meanwhile, the OWS contingent is, at best, jumbled. Whats more, it quotes from some controversial historical precedents. I, for one, associate the word occupation with military measures. Maybe the protestors truly wish to declare they are at war with the big banks, but I detect a degree of muddled irony when self-identifying occupiers are singing joyous renditions of Give Peace a Chance. According to former Clinton pollster Doug Schoens fieldwork, a third of the so-called occupiers approve of violent means to institute economic justice. If that percentage of Tea Partiers was displaying open hostility to law and order, conservatives would (and should) be called to explain their unruly selves. Now, the natural response is to dismiss violent characters as fringy. But when there is no overriding OWS platform or leadership structure, its hard to know whether bizarre behavior and beliefs are representative of the movement or not.
As Tea Partiers collected in town halls last summer, they were dismissed because wealthy libertarians like the Koch Brothers opened up their checkbooks to support them. Yet when AFL-CIO president Richard Trumpka joins the OWS festivities, hes seen as a kindred spirit.
Love or hate the Tea Party, it certainly insists on holding both Republican and Democrats feet to the fire. It opposes the bailouts, the individual healthcare mandate, high taxes, and crony capitalism. Yet OWS is in the awkward position of smearing Wall Street while President Obamawhom a majority of protestors still supportkindled the auto bailouts, hired bureaucratic Czars, employs Tim Geithner, and handed out Solyndra loans. I admit I find it ironic when the same protestors who referring to the police as chauvinist pigs are also up in arms that Republicans arent getting behind more bills toyou guessed itfederally support the hiring of more police officers.
Many in the OWS squad harbor noble goals, but I worry at their sense of disenfranchisement under Americas Constitutional system. Some have aptly noted that America isnt a direct democracy. Theyre right, and that tends to be a good thing. Direct democracy simply cannot represent 300 million Americans. French Revolution-styled upheavals have a habit of getting counter-intuitive pretty fast. Napoleon, Stalin, Chavez and other revolutionaries-by-fiat are not egomaniacal exceptions. They represent the predictable culminations of uprisings that license unfettered democracy, at the expense of minority opinion, safety, and order.
To be clear, idealism does not deserve to be demonized. But we cannot govern a nation by forever storming the Bank of America Bastille. The best exit out of our national malaise ought to be more Constitutionalism, not less. I hope to channel my fury at the current hand-holding between Washington and Wall Street in the voting booth next year. OWS is begging for different, better leadership in government. I second that call, but I suspect friendlier politicians are the politicians who have less power right now, not more.
Not bad for a college paper but a little too sympathetic to the OWS miscreants.
To be clear, idealism does not deserve to be demonized
Well, criminal behavior does deserve it. Further, "idealism" mixed with ignorance is an extremely destructive force.
No, the young idealists in OWS need to be told to go make something of themselves and come back when they have some skin in the game.
It is one thing that has always bothered me about these communist revolutionary type thinkers. Why do they think that a powerful government (no matter who is in power) is more sympathetic, less dangerous and more humane than a corporation.
To my mind a powerful government is always going to be more dangerous than a corporation because a government can jail you or kill you using the power of law. The more powerful a government becomes the more dangerous it becomes.
Joseph Stalin held unchallenged power in the Soviet Union and during his reign it is estimated that 20 million died at the hands of government. Moa Se Tung held unchallenged power in China and it is estimated that 70 million died at the hands of his government.
These are just two of the dictators of the 20 Century that held the unlimited power of government in their hands and killed at will those they suspected of merely not supporting their rule. These men were communist leaders men who were of the type supposedly these students and old folk would chose for the leaders of their post revolutionary government.
Considering the evil these men wrought upon their post revolutionary countries what kind of evil have the banks of Wall Street wrought upon this country that these educated people would bring men of this type to power?
Far too many Americans are both economically illiterate (as proven in multiple studies issued by www.nber.org (National Bureau of Economic Research) and historically ignorant. Like uneducated sheep, they clamor for their own destruction.
I’ve enjoyed quite a bit of time perusing the OWS website and poking them. It’s very entertaining, very illuminating, and entirely schizophrenic. The apparent goal of the movement is to be as inclusive as possible to all points of view, to grow as large as possible. They get very defensive if someone tries to speak for the group or make a plan or set a goal.
On one hand, it’s like listening to idealistic teens and old drunk people who are sitting on the porch until the wee hours, solving all the worlds problems. They’re happy and they mean well, and they have 0% chance of solving any of the worlds problems. On the other hand, there’s clearly some low key hounds at the edge of the herd, nipping at heels here and there to keep the movement within certain parameters.
It’s the hounds I worry about. They want to prep the herd for a stampede. The herd doesn’t know it. They’re just happy to wander the field and chew grass, and the more the merrier to them. The hounds are looking for mass. Volume. Cannon fodder.
They’re no Tea Party, all right. It remains to be seen just what they are.
The problem with your post is that you have misidentified what these people are. I underlined the misidentification.
These people aren't educated at all, in any meaningful sense of the word. They are merely indoctrinated.
This makes them abysmally ignorant. And when they add, in equal measure unbridled arrogance to that same abysmal ignorance, then they imbibing deeply of one of the most potentially lethal 'cocktails' known to mankind. It is not only potentially lethal to themselves, it is equally potentially lethal to everyone around them, and society as a whole.
History is replete with the end results of such an action. But they have been, and I believe deliberately so, kept ignorant of the effects of their course...
nice article...very balanced.
It was intentional.
The press makes great efforts to identify these young people as college students as to signify that they the best and the brightest; the heirs of the future.
There’s also a muddle about what even a genuine democracy might bring. Out of the purported 99% of Americans who are not double-filthy rich, do really anywhere close to half of them hate banks so much as to want to summarily topple them? The ancient Greeks with their accurate plebiscites would have spat on these rabble rousers claiming to represent the will of the whole (or even the 99% least wealthy) of America.
Our Founding Fathers wanted NOTHING to do with democracy, which they saw as mob rule.
And that’s fine to a point, yet even an accurate democracy puts most of today’s sham “democracy” to shame. George Washington might not have watched polls. But you bet that George W. Bush did.
These uneducated sheep are in the park looking for a Judas Goat.
I think they have one by the name of George Soros who I hear is financing this slaughter house.
How did this young lady slip by the Swarthmore admissions team?
Amazing ain’t it? This article actually ran in the SC paper?
They’re message isn’t jumbled. It is the communist manifesto.
Pray for America