I’ve heard a few libertarians who get a little bit defensive of how the Occupy Wall Street movement is treated, and for a while I wondered why that was. Every conservative I know has been very critical for obvious and good reasons. As a conservative libertarian, I usually reserve judgment, but as usual I fall somewhere in the middle of both ideologies. I’m personally disgusted by the overwhelming majority of the people at the “occupations”, their behavior, their political ideologies and solutions. The question I ponder is, “Is there a silver lining to the Occupy Wall Street movement? And what good can come from it?”
Before the Marxist elements became more obvious and widespread at the Occupy Wall Street movement, much of their disdain appeared to be aimed TARP and to a lesser extent, the Federal Reserve. Those are two areas of agreement conservatives have in common with them. This also means I have more in common with Occupy Wall Street radicals than I do with mainstream Democrats like Harry Reid and company. Occupy Wall Street seems to oppose the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I too think its way past time for them to end. Democrats have only paid lip service in their supposed opposition to the wars, which is why they didn’t end them when they had total control from January 2009 to January 2011. To be clear, there’s many more areas we disagree on, like their desire to “eat the rich”, forgive all debt, and enact a $20.00 minimum wage. Those are all insanely awful ideas, and while I think most Democrats agree that those are bad ideas, they probably all sympathize with the proposals to varying degrees and would like to move in those policy directions. But even if Occupy Wall Street opposes bailouts because they don’t believe there should be a private sector, if they oppose the Federal Reserve because they’d rather use the barter system instead of using currency, and if they oppose the wars because that they believe that money could be better spent on running petting zoos; their reasoning doesn’t really matter to me. The important thing is that we’d both vote against bailouts, against the Federal Reserve, and to end the current wars.
I was reading a 2011 Heritage Foundation guide that ranked all members of the House and Senate in terms of their conservatism. In the Senate, most Democrats had anywhere from 5%-0%, but Bernie Sanders, the admitted socialist from Vermont had a 14% rating, the highest by far of anyone on the left! That is shocking to most, but not to me. Bernie Sanders is without a doubt an absolute crazy leftist. But, Bernie Sanders introduced the “Audit the Fed” Bill in 2009 that was co-sponsored by ultra conservative senator Jim Demint. Someone who is also like Bernie Sanders in that regard is Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich is another far leftist, but he actually voted against Cap N Trade (because it didn’t go far enough), wants to impeach Obama over his violation of the War Powers Act and assassination of an American citizen (be it a very bad one), and opposes the Patriot Act. Regardless of Kucinich’s reasons, I’m totally with him on those agendas. Policy wise and to a lesser extent, principle-wise, there may be more common ground between the far left and the right.
Establishment Democrats are the absolute worst. Joe Lieberman is many republicans’ favorite democrat. I admire that he has principles, which is unusual for politicians in general, but that’s as far as my admiration goes. Lieberman has a neoconservative foreign policy and is a socialist domestically. What that means is that he is as bad as Barack Obama in terms of spending, if not worse. Speaking of terrible things, Democrats usually say and do whatever they need to, to get re-elected. I’m sure some Democrats are unaware of the harmful effects of their policies and have benevolence in mind. But most are interested in buying votes from every group they can possibly get a hold of. Democrats usually run against things, namely republicans. They will oppose republicans virtually on every policy, not because they necessarily disagree, but as a political tactic. This is beyond obvious when Democrats are in power and their foreign policy is seen by the American people. The only difference between Bush and Obama on foreign policy is that Obama wants Israel to return to its 1967 borders and that he likes to travel to countries and apologize for things America did 50-75 years ago.
Occupy Wall Street could be dangerous in the future. As winter weather comes in for the long haul, it seems the movement would face 2 options, it either dies out or revs up by becoming violent and [even more] lawless. Obviously we should hope that its the former. The latter would bring about the chaos and destruction that we see taking place in crumbling nations like Greece. Most rational people probably look at Occupy Wall Street as disgusting and view it negatively. I don’t see how the Democrats channel the movement into electoral success (by attracting new voters, they have the Occupy Wall Street vote pretty well in hand). The truly sad part of it is that it had some limited potential.
Instead of just voting a straight democrat ticket, a democrat tea party would’ve brought about positive changes for the country. Voting out all the crony capitalist Democrats as well as the ones supporting destructive entities like the Federal Reserve would be fantastic (but painstaking, as that would require replacing most of the ones currently serving). However its likely that the individuals who are currently occupying places are too lazy to bring about such productive change and to do in depth research on the policies that are actually causing the problems they are facing. As Reason Magazine’s Matt Welch pointed out, one of the great aspects of the Tea Party is that they are principled enough to vote for a candidate who they agree with on most policies but who is also a crazy who only dresses in a bunny suit (who obviously has no chance of winning), instead of supporting a worthless establishment republican who could easily win in the general election. Unfortunately, with far left nuts such as Michael Moore, Van Jones, and Cornel West in their ranks and financial support coming from the labor unions, Occupy Wall Street has insured itself as a worthless group of nasty, unemployed, angst filled useful idiots willing to take direction from absolute crazies or the people who promote many of the policies they say they oppose. Instead of a good policy or personnel reform coming from the Occupy Wall Street movement, the only silver lining may be independent voters running even further away from the democrat party.