For the past month or so, the liberal media has been manfully attempting to elevate the "Occupy Wall Street" movement to the level of the Tea Party - or even above, as "Occupy Wall Street" is customarily capitalized in mainstream newspapers and "tea party" usually isn't. Even the slogans the MSM promote push this notion, claiming that OWS represents "The 99%" of Americans who aren't the 1% most wealthy.
Of course, OWS's prescription of redistribution, government restrictions on free speech, and a dog's breakfast of miscellaneous leftism doesn't represent the desires of 99% of America or even half that; poll after poll shows liberals to be 20% at most. Shades of Lenin's Bolshevik victory over the freedom-loving Mensheviks, where "Bolshevik" means "majority party" in Russian and "Menshevik" means "minority" though the truth was quite the opposite.
OWS is loud, however, and the liberal media no doubt hopes that its sympathetic portrayal will run that number up. They are forgetting the truth of a pithy Irving Kristol quote dating back to the early 1980s:
A neoconservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality.
Kristol meant to point out that many of the most devout conservatives were once liberals who eventually grew up enough to realize that liberalism simply doesn't work in the real world. By this measure, the Obama administration is creating a new generation of conservatives, just as 9-11 did or exposure to the reality of an abortion procedure do, and as famously happened to the once-beloved lefty playwright David Mamet.
But Kristol's remark came right after the depths of the 1970s, during which suffered through a crime wave unprecedented in American history. The bleeding hearts of the 1960s had fought for all manner of legal protections for criminals; ten years later, those same protected criminals clonked them on the head while they walked home from work of an evening. A great many Reagan voters, once lefties, had been literally mugged and were now ready for a little law and order.
|Then what's for dinner tomorrow?|
To our mild amusement, it's just possible that precisely the same thing is happening at the "Occupy" protests all across America which have been going on for some time now.
When the protests first began, they were mostly populated by True Believers in the Cause - who else would give up a nice warm bed at home to camp out in a dingy tent on hard cement? Which is not to say that there aren't a fair few hypocrites - infrared photos of the Occupy London protests at St. Paul's reveal only one in ten tents to be occupied in the middle of the night - but the first bunch of demonstrators meant no harm beyond the aesthetic, olfactory, hallucinogenic, and copulatory.
That did not last long. How can you distinguish a smelly middle-class hippie from a smelly homeless street drunk - or, say, a drug dealer? Turns out the protest organizers can't, as the New York Post reports:
Newly sprung ex-cons and vagrants rousted from other parks are crashing the Occupy Wall Street protest, where gourmet meals are free and boozy, drugfueled parties are on tap, the movement’s leaders griped yesterday...
Volunteer Lauren Digioia, 26, said, “We have drug dealing going on here, gang activity, public intoxication. There are a lot of instigators. There are a lot of vultures.
“Everyone knows we give out free food and sleeping bags, and it’s a perfect opportunity for squatters.” [emphasis added]
Ms. Digioia may not fully realize it yet, but she's well on the way to becoming a conservative. She has found that when you give stuff away for free, hordes of people show up to take that stuff with no intention of giving anything in return. And she doesn't like it one little bit. She has, in fact, been mugged by reality.
The more literal sort of mugging is under way too:
On Monday, a 24-year-old Brooklyn woman originally from Brownville, Maine — population 1,260 — told cops that three men threatened her because she’d fingered one of their pals for brutally punching her and two others, another woman and a man in the face Oct. 11.
“You got our friend arrested. We’re going to kill you. Watch your back,” one of them told her.
Garfield Leslie, 19, of Brooklyn, was later charged with assault and Hasan Castillo, 23, of East Orange, NJ, with intimidating a witness. [emphasis added]
Wasn't it just the other week that the protestors were demanding that the police leave them alone? Now they come crying to the police to protect them from thugs. Perhaps they're developing a new appreciation for just why we have police, and why those police do on rare occasions need to use just the teeniest bit of force?
There is another way to handle these problems, as Pajamas Media reports from Occupy Oakland:
Occupy Oakland has agreed by consensus to not cooperate with the Oakland Police Department under any circumstances. But as the law-breaking and nuisance behavior within the encampment started to grow, the evolving mini-society found it necessary to appoint its own ersatz police force. Basically, the scariest looking guys, and/or those guys with with strongest authoritarian urge, have assumed the role of internal policemen...
[Protestors] reject the existence of the current police force, only to find it necessary to found a new substitute police force of their own, which were it to mature would eventually become an institution probably not much different from the original Oakland Police Force they so reviled.
Why is it that revolutions always result in another government with different faces and possibly slightly different policies, but bearing a strong resemblance to what came before? Lenin and Stalin certainly didn't call themselves czars and didn't squire around in bejeweled robes, but the prison camps in Siberia were just as full if not more so.
If the Occupy protestors have the slightest bit of intelligence or ability to reflect, the longer they hang out in their tents the more they'll realize that there is often a very good reason why things are the way they are.
There is a very good reason why we have police who, on occasion, clobber someone who badly needs clobbering.
There is a very good reason why we don't just give things out for free: people will take whatever you offer, come back for more, and get angry when you run out.
There is even a very good reason why we need to allow people to earn their way to wealth and protect what they've legally amassed: why bother working so hard or innovating if the rewards are just going to be taken away? The OWS true believers worked very hard to round up donated food, sleeping bags, computers, and cash only to have the fruits of their labor snatched away for "redistribution:"
Crafty cat burglars sneaked into the makeshift kitchen at Zuccotti Park overnight and swiped as much as $2,500 in donated greenbacks from right under the noses of volunteers who’d fallen asleep after a long day whipping up meals for the hundreds of hungry protesters, the volunteers said.
We're willing to bet those volunteers won't be so eager or hard-working tomorrow after seeing what happened yesterday. Their experience proves the truth of the conservative claim that high taxes, in this case 100%, and crime discourage hard work. Don't expect the MSM to point this out, the OWS-ers will have to figure it out for themselves.
Most of the hippie protestors of the 1960s went on to live like ordinary middle- and upper-class people with proper jobs, homes and cars, but they continued to claim to cling to their anti-establishment beliefs even after they became the establishment. That's why our current establishment is so utterly dysfunctional in every way; their daily lives and human motivations are in complete and fundamental conflict with the political beliefs they claim to espouse and demand that the rest of us honor.
Perhaps those old protests didn't go on long enough for reality to make itself plain? Let's not be too hasty to shut down the "Occupy" camps, which are a school of reality, hard knocks, and conservatism like none other we've seen in many a year.