by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 06 November 2011
"The cement of this union is the heart-blood of every American." Thomas Jefferson
There was an earthquake on the east coast recently. There are earthquakes in California daily. There were earthquakes, sizeable ones, in Oklahoma yesterday. Earthquakes are movements, but today's comment is not about earthquakes. It is about other shakers--movements--in America.
Not even a few years ago now a cohort of folks--known as the Tea Party--began forming to stop the newly elected Barack Obama from flipping America upside down. To some degree they've succeeded. To this day they continue to grow and wield great influence in the democratic process of our republic. One placard from 2009, displayed by an older couple seated in lawn chairs, summed up their and Party sentiments: "Shove it down our throats in 2009 and we'll shove it up your a** in 2010." Via elections, the Tea Party did exactly as promised on that placard. And they promise more to come. No one is doubting them.
The Tea Party--God-fearing Americans from all walks of life without regard to age, gender, race, creed, socio-economic status, and more--formed around the battlecry for lower taxes and smaller government--a sensible and easily understood platform that resonated with millions and millions. Their public rallies always peaceful, attended by thousands and thousands--some hundreds of thousands, and they disperse, quietly, without leaving a mess and return to their lives (most of them their jobs). They abhor violence. That is still their modus operandi.
In the beginning, the media and sundry public figures of all ilks, to include elected officials, tried to dimiss the Tea Party as insignificant and paint them all as radicals, loons, and racists. They were called vile names, accused (falsely) of spitting on distinguished black members of congress, and referred to as the enemy (even by the president). None of that nonsense worked to disrupt nor disband them. The efforts to discredit failed when people could see for themselves who was attending and what they were doing, that there was indeed a cause, message, leadership, organization, and civility. Forward the Tea Party marched.
To be clear, the Tea Party is not so much a 'Party' but a legitimate movement. They, mostly because of their cause calling for adherence to the Constitution and partly because of their mature, deliberate strategy and tactics, enjoy credibility and, therefore and rightfully so, wield power. Those holding elected office took note. Serious note. They still do. And frankly, they'd better listen or they're next to go on election day.
On the other hand, we have a recent uprising, a movement, that's been tabbed "Occupy Wall Street." So far, it's a disorganized revolt that has spread to other parts of the country--big and small cities and small towns. No one, even those amongst the 'occupiers,' have been able to articulate their cause. Their grumblings make little sense. Some attack "fat cat" bankers while others are essentially throwing a tantrum for free money (at the expense of those who've worked hard for it). But little, if any, of the ranting is intelligible.
Without a coherent, unifying cause these occupiers, from coast to coast, are nothing more than a message-less, leader-less, disorganized cohort of irresponsible rebels. In some cases, they're resorting to destruction of private and public property and carrying out violence against other people. Name calling, threats, and violence are measures steadily creeping into their resistance. And yet the media either ignores or justifies. Interesting.
In contrast to the aforementioned Tea Party placard holders, one sign, photographed last week making the rounds on the web, held by an occupier woman read, "$92,000 for a BA in Hispanic Transgender Gay & Lesbian Studies--and I can't find a job." Really?! And I suppose we're to assume, and that would be correctly, she has a problem with repaying her student loans.
The basis for this protest is not new. Their issues were present two and a half years ago. Where were they? Why now? The answer--they were waiting for their handouts; so promised by their god, Barack Obama. He's not delivered. And won't. He can't. He is still making ludicrous statements about working to create jobs. What world he's living in unknown. But it's not the real world. Businessmen create jobs, not presidents. So, betrayed and disillusioned and feeling used (and they were), the occupiers are angry.
Historically, the only course of action exercised by the stupid and angry is civil disobedience--that degenerates into chaos. Here we are.
'Occupy Wall Street' is a movement alright. It's America's latest smelly bowel movement. And a damn big, loose, and messy one. As always, the movement will collapse because there is no message, there is no organization, there is no leadership, and most importantly, there is no support from the masses--that is, the bottom line is they have no case. Adding insult to injury the media's pathetic attempts to legitimize the cause is an abysmal failure--no one of sound mind is buying the gobbledygook.
And yet they have the right to demonstrate. I support that right, that privilege (and did formally for over 26 years wearing a Marine uniform) but only to the point the lives, the safety, of others is not in jeopardy. Only in America, and for that they should be grateful.
A suggestion for the occupiers: Take a deep breath. Quit whining. Life is not fair. Figure it out. No one owes you a damn thing. Hard work and perseverance is the simple recipe for success. Fall down? Then get your ass up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward. Enough is enough. Good grief.
Unfortunately, in the end the occupier's 'movement'--encampment messes, costs of destruction, etc.--will be left for others to clean up and pay for. And in an odd twist of circumstances, those others will be from the Tea Party; patriots who give a sh--. And about something beyond themselves. How ironic.
America--land of the free. Not the land of free stuff, and certainly not free money.
Standby. Another big movement is coming. Now whether it's first an earthquake or political upheaval remains to be seen. God only knows.