Occupy Wall Street vs. Tea Party: Grass roots showdown

Now that the Occupy Wall Street crowd has marked its first anniversary, it’s time to compare the worth of its message against the worth of the Tea Party’s message. OWS on the left, Tea Party on the right. But there is no mistaking a TV shot of a Tea Party rally for an OWS protest.

First, let’s revisit the stated purpose of OWS, which was to air grievances against the “oppressive” power of business, capitalism and corporations. (The movement has never realized the truth, that protesters should be storming the fortresses of their real enemy, which is Capitol Hill.) The true forces behind OWS were unions, a coalition of socialists and Marxists, big-government advocates like George Soros and other self-aggrieved interest groups.

The movement grew across the country and began referring to itself as the “voiceless 99 percent.” The people involved were never large in number. One national reporter said the entire bunch could fit into a college football stadium. Turns out the “voiceless” were voiceless for a good reason: They had nothing meaningful or constructive to say.

But OWS quickly degenerated into something dark. The movement attracted the worst kind of incorrigible and vile people. They developed an agenda that included hostility to the traditional values of hard work, moral behavior, family values and equal opportunity. Their way of life in their street tents and protests involved defecating in public, smelling stinky, raping in the tents, smashing small shopkeepers’ windows, wearing gauged ears and tattooed faces, and dancing topless jigs down New York’s 6th Avenue.

Whatever message they tried to carry was lost in the inaccurate trash. The protesters didn’t seem to understand that protest is not policy, and that those who scream the loudest don’t necessarily deserve to be taken seriously. The movement finally fizzled when police mustered the courage to de-louse the parks. Turned out the OWS “cure” is worse than the disease.

Conservative philosopher Thomas Sowell said it right: “The current Occupy Wall Street movement is the best illustration to date of what President Barack Obama’s America looks like. It is an America where the lawless, unaccomplished, ignorant and incompetent rule. It is an America where those who have sacrificed nothing pillage and destroy the lives of those who have sacrificed greatly. (OWS) is an America where humans have been degraded to the level of animals.”

Now let’s contrast that bunch to the Tea Party bunch. I have been to a couple of Tea Party rallies, where decorum and middle-class respectfulness rule. Unless my sniffer wasn’t working well, no one there seemed to need a bath. Except for the rare shoutdown of a politician, Tea Party rallies generally are peaceful but energetic and earnest.

The thrust of Tea Party activists is to appear at political gatherings and town hall meetings and ask elected politicians to reduce government, and stop government from restricting their liberties or experimenting with their freedoms. They believe “big government” has gone too far in spending and granting entitlements, and they have demonstrated their power to hold both Democrats and Republicans accountable. Tea partyers have a “leave us alone” mentality: They seek to reduce the national debt, and they deplore crony capitalism. As they should.

So it turns out this comparison between a tea partyer and an OWS protester is a no-brainer. One group is alive and thriving, and the other’s voice is fizzling out. On Nov. 6, this country will hear loud and clear from the Tea Party, and we will see for sure which group has the greatest influence.

Meanwhile, I toast long life to the billionaires, millionaires and business leaders who make this country go, who work hard and smart not only for themselves and their families but for their country as well. These are the people, not the government with all its money-printing “stimulus,” who will bring this country back to its feet by building their businesses and employing Americans. If they are permitted to.

John R. Smith GET AUTHOR RSS FEED

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company. He is a frequent columnist for BizPac Review.
John R. Smith

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