Wednesday, October 05, 2011

What Is Occupy Wall Street? Exactly?

Occupy Wall Street more left-wing Tea Party than Arab Spring

Writing in an op/ed for National Review Online, Jonah Goldberg turns his attention to a persistent movement that cannot be ignored: the self-styled Occupy Wall Street movement.

Goldberg seems to enjoy the naive precociousness of the movement. There's little question about that.

But Goldberg seems to nearly overlook what, at this point, is the most important question of all: what, precisely, is Occupy Wall Street? It's not as ridiculous a question as it may seem. They haven't really been clear.
"I don’t think this thing has nearly the legs its boosters do. For starters, for all the talk about this being the US version of the Arab Spring (a disgusting, and idiotic, anti-American slander by the way), at least the Arabs were smart enough to start the Arab Spring in the Spring! These bozos chose the fall which means it’s only going to get colder. No doubt some will hold out in their urban yurts for as long as it takes, but that self-anointed avant garde of the campus proletariat is going to get lonely when it starts to snow (of course they could all migrate south for the winter)."
The "Arab Spring" notion is a vain idea shared by many far-left protesters with delusions of persecution. Canadian human bobblehead Brigette DePape has taken a certain pleasure in being compared to Arab Spring activists, neglecting to consider the fact that she was at no threat of violence, unlike Libyan activists who were at risk of airstrikes.

Likewise with the Occupy Wall Street activists. They are at positively no risk of even a sideways glance from law enforcement until they do something stupid like attempt to block the Brooklyn Bridge.

So, no. Occupy Wall Street is not the Arab Spring. Nor do they truly represent 99% of anyone, let alone Americans. As Goldberg muses -- and he is absolutely correct -- the very notion is utterly comical.

If anything, Occupy Wall Street is the left-wing Tea Party.

They'll certainly refuse to admit it. They'll even feign indignant outrage at the very suggestion. But it's true, and the conclusion is unavoidable.

Like the Tea Party movement, Occupy Wall Street will learn how difficult it is to produce a coherent message from so many divergent ideas. They'll learn how easy it is to be typecast by the most extreme among them; although many would likely find that the average extremism index -- if there were such a thing -- would be sky-high in the Wall Street Occupation movement compared to the average member of the Tea Party.

And while the mainstream media won't be as willingly complicit in the demonization of Occupy Wall Street, they will eventually learn what it is to be demonized. Some of them will deserve it; many of them will not. Unfortunately, that demonization has become an occupational hazard for grassroots movements in the US.

Just ask the Tea Party.

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