October 10, 2011

On Occupy Wall Street

My own position on the so-called “Occupy Wall Street” movement, or whatever you call it, is one that both approves and disapproves.

While I don’t agree with their rhetoric (not that more than 5% of those involved is likely to have any technical knowledge of economic issues, anyway, or any proactive ideas as to how to enact the positive change they apparently want to bring about), I do see what they’re doing as exercising a fundamental American right to assemble and protest. Where I come from, doing what they’re doing would likely end them up in a filthy, overcrowded prison, a harsh labor camp, or worse. The worst that’s happened to the most obstructive in the OWS crowd has been a shot or two of pepper spray and a single night in a city jail, after which they were released and allowed to return to their assemblage. We already saw what such protest gatherings are met with in China.

So on that level, I see nothing wrong with those people doing what they’re doing. This is, after all, America.

On the other hand, there’s this, which serves only to undermine whatever dubious message the “legitimate” protesters are trying to get out.

Seth has spoken of the differences between the conservative side of the street and the liberal side of the street once the many demonstrations and/or counter-demonstrations he’d been to had ended, the former left pristine by the right thinking crowd while the latter had been “trashed” and left as such by the lefty faction.

The men, women and whatevers among the OWS people are obviously “progressives”, so the drugging and the unruliness are to be expected, especially in a protracted gathering such as the one in question.

BUT… I believe that in the spirit of American freedom we MUST allow those who disagree with our point of view to express theirs.

Unfortunately, we have become so polarized that while our side of the street objected to the treatment “the opposition” gave the Tea Partyers, we are doing the same thing to the Occupy Wall Streeters.

In 2009, where Democrats saw an unruly mob, Republicans saw patriotism.

In 2011, where Republicans see an unruly mob, Democrats see patriotism.

That was the “tea party.” This is the “Occupy” movement.

Reaction to the “OccupyWall Street” protests, which have now spread to Washington and other American cities, broke down along party lines Sunday, with Democrats voicing support for the movement and some Republicans painting the demonstrators as anti-capitalist agitators backed by big labor, anti-war groups and other liberal activists.

Since the tea party’s birth in 2009, conservative lawmakers, candidates and pundits have praised it as the natural reaction to an unprecedented explosion of government spending and federal regulation on a litany of issues including health care. Democrats and many of their liberal allies in the media, however, have often painted tea party members as “racists” and “bigots” who oppose President Obama’s every move simply because he’s black.

While the two movements are backed by opposite ends of the political spectrum, each party reciting the other’s talking points from two years ago, some see similarities between them.

The “core” grievance of the Occupy protesters “is that the bargain has been breached with the American people. There’s a lot in common with the tea party,” Vice President Joseph R. Biden said last week, citing the anger of both the tea party and the OccupyWall Street crowd toward federal bailouts of banks and other financial institutions.

Man, I hate quoting a Biden quote here, but the Veep’s right, even though, thankfully, he’s just Biden his time until he and his boss are voted out next year, relegated to a one termer.

But let’s be tolerant, here. The Tea Partyers, as good conservatives, conducted themselves with dignity and patriotism. As we see in the first linked article above, the OWSers are being the usual collective of liberals, so let’s allow them to make themselves look like dumb bunnies, dancing bears, idiots and buffoons while we honor their Constitutional Right to do so. :-)

UPDATE: I had meant to include the Cain take on the Occupy Wall Street “movement”, which, since the bulk of our economic woes can be laid at the feet of the (previous) Democratic majority and the exacerbation of these woes at the feet of the Obama-in-Chief himself makes sense to me!

by @ 10:22 am. Filed under American Rights, Liberal Agendas
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