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All of the sex and drugs of Woodstock, none of the great music.
Tell The Hippies To Go Home
As far as movements go, this one is quite interesting, and a little fun to watch, if only because so many of the protesters are complete idiots who have no real idea what the protest is all about. They started out disorganized, with marchers talking about everything from overthrowing the government to replacing our capitalist system with communism, to legalizing marijuana.
And they are still disorganized. This is the leftist protest modus operandi: move in, cause chaos...and then what? No one seems to be sure.
They say they are inspired by the Arab Spring, but that only computes in a limited sense. The protesters in Tahrir Square were upset over decades of oppression and corruption at the hands of a military dictator. They lived in squalor in a third-world nation, while their ruler personally pocketed billions. The Occupy Wall Street protesters come across like spoiled children in comparison.
But useful idiots is probably the more accurate term. These protesters have been duped into believing that government redistributionist schemes can somehow save our nation. They decry the greed of business owners and CEOs, yet all the while they want the government to confiscate other people's wealth and give it to people who haven't earned it. They have fallen for the class warfare lies perpetuated by Democrats like Barack Obama, Charlie Rangel, Chris Dodd, and Maxine Waters.
The real problem isn't that businesses, CEOs, and business owners want to make money. Success is part of the American Dream, and is a goal worth striving for. The real issue is the entanglement of big business and government. This is why the Occupy movement is so disingenuous. They claim to be against the greedy rich, yet they are backed by George Soros, the leftist billionaire who crashes economies as a hobby, and Big Labor - the big money organizations that are in bed with the Democratic Party, ruining our economy in the name of "worker's rights," and even President Obama, who took huge donations from Wall Street to fund his presidential campaign.
If Occupy Wall Street were to be an effective effort, they would really need a multi-pronged approach. They should start by protesting Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, and Maxine Waters for their roles in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the policy decisions that helped contribute to the housing bubble. Instead of protesting wealth creators for their success, target businesses and CEOs who have acted unethically, and highlight their ethical breaches. Instead of acting like spoiled children looking for a handout, focus on bringing responsibility and accountability back into government and big business.
The most important thing the Occupy movement could do to legitimize itself is to get rid of the fringe wackos. Tell the communists, the anarchists, and the dope heads to go home. The mantra "We are the 99 percent" has gone viral, but while a lot of people get upset over corporate entanglements with government, the vast majority of Americans find it hard to identify with what appears to be a bunch of unwashed, jobless wannabe hippie kids doing drugs and trashing legitimate businesses in the name of fighting corporate greed. Normal people aren't in favor of corporate greed or government corruption, but some of these protesters are preaching revolution and insurrection. Good luck gathering up 99 percent around that agenda. The problem for Occupy Wall Street, however, is that if they were to get rid of the communists, the anarchists, the insurrectionists and the dope heads, there would be no one left.
It's only a matter of time before these protests turn truly violent, and when that happens, support for the movement among politicians and regular people will dry up quickly. Things are bad enough in America without London-style rioting in the streets of our major cities, but that seems to be where these protests are headed. The protests are already having a negative economic impact on New York City, as the protests have driven away tourists, trashed businesses, and caused significant destruction to Zuccotti Park, which they have chosen as their central location.
This is a movement that could do a lot of good, if only the protesters would get their act together, craft a unified message, and form a protest movement that makes sense. I wouldn't bet on that happening, though. Instead, it looks like we'll get a little bit of Woodstock (all of the sex and drugs, none of the great music), a little bit of London, and a whole lot of left-wing class warfare. This is not what our nation needs. We need reform, not revolution. We need democracy, not mob rule. We need intelligent voters, not useful idiots. We need corporate and government accountability, not higher taxes and government handouts. The fact that many of the Democratic politicians who are supporting the protesters are some of the very same government officials who helped to create our economic mess and have been using the same class warfare talking points to shift attention away from their own complicity only makes it that much worse.
All in all, Occupy Wall Street comes across as a movement of bratty kids who are protesting for the sake of protesting, complaining about corporate greed because they want a slice of the pie but they don't want to work for it, provoking law enforcement so they can cry police brutality, marching in the streets and sleeping in the park because it seems like a good time, all for a cause. No matter what you think of corporate greed, sometimes the thought doesn't really count. These protests will likely do more harm than good, damaging an already fragile economy, and further polarizing our nation. We don't need Occupy Wall Street to bring attention to corporate and government corruption, we already know it's there. What America really needs is an electorate who will vote out the corrupt politicians who continue to use their useful idiots to shift the blame away from their own actions.
Robert Cleveland, Senior Conservative Editor: Robert Cleveland is the IT Director for a document management services company. When he isn't working on computers and scanners, he's spending time with his wife and kids, or writing about just how jacked-up Washington politics is. He is a strong believer that hard work and freedom are what make America the greatest nation on the planet, and it is of the utmost importance that we never lose those values. Robert's other writing can be found at his blog, more...)