Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gary Palmer: Occupy Movement too radical even for liberal Democrats

  Liberals thought they had their own version of the Tea Party Movement with the Occupy Wall Street Movement. Then, they realized that the "Occupiers" were too radical even for them.

  In case you have missed the protests that have been going on across America, the Occupy Wall Street Movement has launched efforts to occupy Wall Street and business districts of other U.S. cities in a demonstration of anger against financial institutions they blame for high unemployment and the economic crisis. The idea for the movement appears to have originated from Adbusters Media Foundation, a liberal group based in Canada.

  The liberal media initially tried to cast the protesters as representative of the majority of Americans. They were described as young, working class adults who were frustrated they would finish their educations with no real hope of getting a job.

  This is the image the Obama Administration and other Democrat leaders are trying to project as representative of mainstream Americans. Referring to Occupy Wall Street, President Obama said "I think people are frustrated, and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based frustration about how our financial system works."

  Interestingly enough, as the Tea Party movement swept the nation, in April 2009 the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about concerns of rising right-wing extremism. However, as the Occupy Movement has spread, Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "God bless them for their spontaneity." She added, "It's independent ... it's young, it's spontaneous, and it's focused." This is the same Pelosi who referred to the members of the Tea Party movement as "astroturf," called them un-American and described them as people "carrying swatiskas."

  David Plouffe, a White House senior adviser, said "the protests you're seeing are the same conversations people are having in living rooms and kitchens all across America." But the demands that Occupy Wall Street submitted include a guaranteed living wage income (whether or not a person works), free college education, ending the fossil fuel economy, open-borders migration, and spending a trillion dollars on ecological restoration to include removing all dams from rivers. It is very unlikely that most Americans are having such conversations in any room in their houses.

  Moreover, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a fundraising letter with an "I Stand with Occupy Wall Street" petition. Given that Occupy Wall Street is such a radical left-wing group that even some of the liberal media are backing away from them, the petition was probably not the best idea.

  Douglas Schoen, former pollster for President Bill Clinton, has warned Democrats against embracing the Occupy Wall Street Movement because the "... movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people." He added, "The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies."

  His polling firm conducted a random survey of the protesters in New York's Zuccotti Park. The data they gathered found that over half of the protesters have participated in a political movement before. Unlike the formation of the Tea Party Movement, this is not a spontaneous gathering of people who have never before engaged in anything political.

  As additional evidence that this movement is out of touch with mainstream Americans, the survey found that 65 percent of Occupy Wall Street protesters believe the government has a moral responsibility to guarantee all citizens affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement-no matter the cost. Other polls consistently find that the majority of Americans are opposed to nationalized health care and are adamantly opposed to increased government debt and want spending cuts, not increases.

  Furthermore, the survey of Occupy Wall Street protesters found that 98 percent said they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals and 31 percent said they would support violence to advance their agenda.

  Schoen concludes that the survey "... shows clearly that the movement doesn't represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence."

  Though not encouraging violence, some liberals in the media have expressed hope that the Occupy Wall Street Movement will ultimately result in the rejection of capitalism and the end of American dominance in the world.

  The attitude of many in the Occupy Wall Street Movement is reminiscent of the anti-war protests of the 60s that often resulted in civil disobedience and the destruction of property. This is in sharp contrast to the Tea Party rallies. Schoen warns that by embracing the Occupy Wall Street Movement, Democrats could further alienate themselves from moderates and independents and suffer devastating losses in the 2012 election.

  Schoen bases his prediction on the fact that not only is Occupy Wall Street not representative of mainstream America, the movement is too radical even for liberal Democrats.

  About the author: Gary Parlmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.

  This article was published by the Alabama Policy Institute.

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