My initially measured view of the Occupy Wall Street crowd has given way to real concern about their nastiness and capacity for violence. Dozens have been arrested all of the country. The moderates have departed and are replaced by bored, angry young people. They have attacked police, broken laws, hurled missiles, and all the rest. In other words, a great many of the Zucotti Park protesters and their fellow travelers are manifesting that love of destruction and hostility to law that characterized the protest movements of the 1960s. I believe such nonsense should be suppressed.
These events are one more proof of the media’s bias. It is noteworthy that for all the mainstream media’s kvetching about the Tea Party movement and its scary radicalism, there have been almost no incidents of this kind associated with them. Working people simply do not go for rioting, and vigils and weeks long protests are the province of the youth.
Finally, I think it a terrible political judgment by Obama to align himself with this unpredictable group of unemployed (and unemployable) losers. Indeed, I’ve found it funny how much the various women I know seem to really despise these protesters. They are mocked for wearing corporate clothing, using iPhones, and not making a lick of sense. This hostility from women and others of the stable middle class cuts across all political lines. People that work find these people laughable, annoying, and incoherent. In spite of our country’s formal protections and high regard for free speech, I’ve found most people are even more committed to the notion of “not making a fuss,” and this is particularly true among women. For most middle class Americans, participating in a protest of any kind is considered weird, alien, anti-social, useless, naive, and annoying. This hostility to protesting seems particularly strong when violent and flamboyant protests are involved, such as those of the Occupy Wall Street crowd. While I don’t share this same dim view of protests in general, I obviously have no use for these lawbreaking communists.
In short, while many Americans are worried about the economy and are critical of some of the excesses of Wall Street, they are equally committed in general to the idea of hard work, free markets, conspicuous consumption, and not acting weird. Occupy Wall Street fails on all fronts, but Obama is too out of touch to realize this, and he is making yet another political mistake, directed as he is by a crew of not-so-closeted radicals and his own uncertain compass.