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  • Occupy Wall Street Is No Tea Party

    The past few years have witnessed the rise and fall of several left-leaning political fads, each touted as a response to the rise of the Tea Party Movement: the Coffee Party, One Nation, and Jon Stewart’s and Stephen Colbert’ s Rally to Restore Sanity. A month after the Wall Street occupation began, the protesters say they are just getting started. But a month is more than enough time to see that Occupy Wall Street is no Tea Party.

    For one thing, Wall Street occupiers call themselves the 99 percent. They are united against the 1 percent, defined as the top income earners who don’t pay enough taxes but still get government bailouts for their corporations and banks. As a corrective, the occupiers demand that the 1 percent pay more taxes and the 99 percent receive more benefits in the form of student loan forgiveness, free health care, and jobs through New Deal–esque programs.

    Beyond their general demands for redistributive policies, Wall Street occupiers have radically different plans for America’s governmental structure than the Tea Party movement. “Since we can no longer trust our elected representatives to represent us rather than their large donors,” the Zuccotti Park occupiers explain, “we are creating a microcosm of what democracy really looks like.” Zuccotti Park is meant to be a model of the governmental structure that should replace America’s constitutional system. On July 4, 2012, some Wall Street occupiers plan to hold a new Philadelphia convention to recreate American democracy. Their birthday gift to America will be eliminating the constitutional system.

    But what about the Tea Party movement?

    It, too, was outraged by the bailouts—but not for lack of access to the government’s coffers. The Tea Party argued that government did not have constitutional authority to bail out anyone on Wall Street or Main Street. Far from the 99 percent waging class warfare against the 1 percent, the Tea Party wanted the same rules for 100 percent of Americans.

    As William Voegeli notes, the Tea Party concluded that “the general government has, over the last several decades, stepped further and further outside of the bounds of the Constitution.” Therefore, reviving limited, constitutional government became the Tea Party’s mission.

    Unlike those early patriots who “had to establish their independence and to start anew,” as Matthew Spalding explains in “Reclaiming America: Why We Honor the Tea Party Movement,” the 21st-century Tea Party’s task is “not to overthrow; it is not revolution; it is renewal and restoration of those self-evident truths of constitutional government at the heart of America.” The Tea Party embraces the system of government outlined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and they demand that their elected representatives do the same.

    Though both sets of protesters are frustrated with America’s direction, Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party have very different goals. Occupy Wall Street seeks to loosen American democracy from its constitutional roots. The Tea Party recognizes that it does not need to throw away America’s system of government, and—unlike the Wall Street occupiers—it’s not trying to do so.

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    26 Responses to Occupy Wall Street Is No Tea Party

    1. West Texan says:

      The Tea Party is composed of law abiding, productive, tax paying Americans. The Wall Street loiters are misguided thoughtless slugs who selfishly demand free access to goods and services, all at the expense of Tea Party supporters.

    2. zff says:

      Silly Occupiers: for one thing not all who got bailed out were "1%ers" and not all "1%ers" got bailouts. Second, I find it hard to believe that the Big Government/Communist occupiers were really all that disturbed by the bailouts, considering they were excused on a socialist basis and also led to government getting control into banking and the auto industry. Both bailouts were supported by the liberals that the Occupiers love, by the way.

      Spare me the crocodile tears, Occupiers. And don't try to tell me you folks don't get handouts and bailouts all the time.

    3. Joe B. says:

      A very one-sided assessment, Julia. 1) you are comparing the Tea Party after several years of evolution to a movement that is barely one month old. There were issues of racist signage, spitting on members of congress and gun-toting protesters until the movement was given some PR polish and taken under the wing of FoxNews Pundits and the Republican leadership.

      Equality is a standard upon which this country was founded. There has been blatant favoritism towards corporate American and top wage earners, and as soon as someone points out the inequality the action is labelled as "class warfare"…and empty and inaccurate rhetorical tool.

      No one is asking for income redistribution, but how about parity of taxation? Parity of access of all individuals to political influence? Why not then just assign the number of votes to which you are entitled to how much your personal assets are worth?

      You choose not to acknowledge that our constitution has been amended several times since its adoption. That process has sought to strengthen, not weaken our country as a Democracy. And yet you characterize this activity as "eliminating the constitutional system." So I suppose the Civil Rights Act, Women's right to vote, Freedom of speech and Freedom to bear arms also fall under attempts to "eliminate the constitutional system"?

      Freedom from undue financial and corporate influence is not less a freedom and a right of Americans than those. You chose to eliminate the early TeaParty revolutionary Rhetoric of "taking back America" and even naming themselves after one of the first revolutionary act in the U.S.

      Just because you disagree or agree with a message based on your perceptions, does not mean one group should have more or less rights than another.

      • Wapitiman says:

        "There were issues of racist signage, spitting on members of congress,and gun-toting protestors…etc
        These issues were brought up by scared liberals in an attempt to slander a groundswell of patriotic protest. One member of congress was reputedly spit upon, however there was a $100,000 reward for anyone who could prove this incident actually took place. To the best of my knowledge, it was never collected. Drag out the old racist BS when all else fails. "Gun toting" I didn't see any guns. There was a report of someone carrying a rifle somewhere. So what?
        The Tea Party consists of people refusing to be turned into sheeple.

      • Tim M. says:

        Your first paragraph shows your ignorance. "Racist Signage, Spitting (never proved by the way)…" Are you kidding me? Then Occupiers have exhibited a thousand times more vile acts in one day than any tea party event has in it's "several years of evolution."

        the third paragraph… "…how about equality of taxation?" Are you that stupid? The "99%" pay a fraction of the "1%"

        I can't go on. Trying to argue with a fool exhausts me.

      • Mike, Wichita Falls says:

        The Tea party has no problem with amending the Constitution which requires overwhelming majorities to enact. Amending the Constitution is not eliminating the constitutional system since the document itself has a procedure for doing so. It's nothing more than the people's contract with their federal government. Only we can change it…not Obama, any other President, any member of Congress or any judge although they have been doing so for decades.

        Where and when the Tea party wants "radical change", we seek to amend the Constitution not by-pass it. The Tea party supported a balanced budget amendment to control spending since Congress is undisciplined and ignores us. Until then, we will seek out a better Congress to get a balanced budget.

        If "Occupy whatever" truly wants "free education, free housing and free healthcare for all", then amend the Constitution to give the federal government explicit power to do so. Until then, pursue those policies in your state, and show us how great it is.

        By the way, we live in a Republic not a Democracy…"and to the Republic for which it stands".

      • Ginger says:

        So well said!!!! You are one of the–maybe 15%–of Americans who actually understand what is going on in America. Because they are all being overworked and deliberately misinformed by the media…which is mostly owned by the top 1%, many Americans are still unaware that they are going against their own future. They are, in fact, helping these Elites to further their quest to control the country and erode the middle class. Once a person has acquired a comfortable amount of wealth, it is no longer greed for money but an insatiable greed for power. Sadly, the Elite may never get it–that it's impossible to have INNER PEACE and screw "anyone"–let alone millions of people. There is no permanent happiness without INNER PEACE, not even for sociopaths. Just ask Bernie Madoff!!!! If the selfish 1% even had a clue about this, they'd be giving away their billlions–but instead, they have to keep on screwing people just to experience that momentary high which then turns into guilt/melancholy and the drive to look for another momentary high!!!! The world would be a better place if everyone practiced "Love One Another"– which has nothing to do with Religion and everything to do with Common Sense and Joy.

      • joann says:

        No,' not one group should have more or less rights than another'. We are all created equal. However, what we do in life and how much we earn depends on the individual himself/herself. We are a capitalistic society (a free market society) not a socialist society. The OWS protesters do have some real concerns and issues. We all do. However, these OWS protesters are now taking advantate of our system of laws and appear to be misguided as to who actually created these problems? Look at Barney Frank involvment, President Clinton's, Bush, etc. and definitely President Obama for his failure to stop his spending. Regarding the Constitution, Obama has recently shown his outright comtempt for the Constitution by claiming he would ignore both Congress and the Constitution to get 'his way.' These protesters need to be in front of the White House.

    4. A.B. says:

      Every country in this world views our form of democracy and representative government (republic) with envy, even if they won't admit it. Our Constitution is the singular truth for our form of government, and it was secured by the deaths of many people over two centuries ago. To argue against this reality is foolish nonsense. There is nothing in the world more precious and valuable as our Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, and our Flag-Old Glory. Many times those who would tear it down, or try to reinvent our nation, have failed.

    5. pat duran says:

      What a vast difference between the Tea Party and OWS crowd. The OWS do their hypocrital polices so well. Leaving the surrounding envrioment in total castrophe, interfering with the day to day business of the locals and showing total lack of disrepect.

    6. Steve says:

      Here’s a question:
      Has the “Occupation” (in any of it’s incarnations) organized enough to either incorporate or receive tax exempt status yet? Who’s responsible for the over $500,000 in donations and who’s
      going to pay taxes on it. Someone’s got to be responsible for the money!

    7. Mike Moore says:

      Joe B, get a clue. There was no evidence of the Tea Party spitting on anyone and there wetter were NO racist overtones either. If you can provide evidence we are STILL waiting.
      As far as equality, no person is guaranteed financial success. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is what is the purpose of this country and it's constitution. INCOME REDISTRIBUTION IS NOT A RIGHT nor is it morally right. What right do you have to say how much a person is entitled to earn. That's no more far than the shortcomings of the corporations!.
      Do a little study of history and see what made this country great. Better yet, check out Bill OReilly's Talking Points from Tuesday, 10/25, entitled The Decline Of America

      • Ginger says:

        Mike M: If you do a little history, you will learn that throughout history, when Kings, Dictators, and "Elites" enslaved their people by taking the greatest concentration of the nation's wealth, there were revolutions–often with serious consequences–many were beheaded, imprisoned, etc., their castles ransacked and “occupied,” once the people decided "ENOUGH!" The earth belongs to everyone–not just the crooked and greedy. What made America great was "regulated” Capitalism with laws that protected the American people from credit card rip offs, bank & real estate misrepresentations, exorbitant pharmaceutical drugs, dishonest marketing tricks, deception and lies by the media, defamation of character among politicians, protection from police brutality, etc. Regulations were designed to protect "WE THE PEOPLE"….not "We the Top 1%." The first step towards reforming the nation needs to be campaign reform through public funding so that well-intentioned candidates who get elected are not beholden afterwards to their donors. Without this, it will be very difficult for any president to put an end to the corruption and greed.

        • Bobbie says:

          what makes America great is FREEDOM! capitalist or not! who are you to say every capitalist is greedy and crooked and what happened to the laws you site that protected the American people? government wasn't doing their job! How can you begin to trust the invasive entity and costs of government when they didn't do their job to begin with? What more is government going to do by thieving more from the rich besides destroy the American dream to achieve wealth through ones own potential??? How is more government control going to solve anything?

    8. HES says:

      A character in a light opera once said "Things are not always as they seem." The blather that comes from these "Occupiers" (trespassers and squatters) may not reflect their real goals. Their supporters (Soros, the SEIU, AFL-CIO, et al) indicate that. They give the game away, when they demand discarding any parts of our Constitution which they deem inconvenient. The Constitution LIMITS Government power, and protects everyone from tyrannical acts by officials and mobs alike.
      Beyond that, their demands are Cloward-Piven writ large. Demand so many welfare goodies that the government cannot afford them, then take to the streets to complain and destroy.
      As to the "Occupiers,." (trespassers and squatters) my comment: Doctors doctors, nurses nurse, trash trashes.

    9. Stirling says:

      So with all the promise of "Hope and Change." less then 4 years ago and now the results (9% unemployment, 14 Million out of work, Baliouts, etc) you would think that these people would be protesting the current Administration's FAILURES… Since OWS is not in DC in masses it's clear that this is a pro Obama-Union-Acorn astro-turf activists using wall street as a "Straw Man." trying to deflect attention away from reality and give the liberal media a talking point. OWS is a million miles away from what the Tea party stands for, and closer to what "Woodstock" was in the 60's.

    10. Jere says:

      TEAers obtain permission to rally on public or private property, purchase insurance for their rallies, and clean up before they leave. Can you say that about the OWC crowd?

    11. Lloyd Scallan says:

      The media and the Dems are inventing similarities between OWS and the Tea Party as the usual disinformation and distortion to lessen the actual effects of the TP, thus hoping the American people will condemn what the Tea Party has accomplished.

    12. walter says:

      I have learned that If our president is supporting OWS. It can not be good for our country. Obama has been a failure and has not fix anything. He has been on the wrong side of most issues.He been in charge for three years and failed to fix anything. He has nothing but anti american giving him bad advise. He has wasted our tax dollars without any good return. He refuse to enforce out laws he took and oath to enforce, He against the stated passing laws to protect the voters. I can go on and on pointed out his failure. OWS need to get smart and move to his door with there complaints. They need to learn that OBAma is one of the 1%. may be if they get off the dope they can learn what gone on.

    13. TimAz says:

      I really don't see how OWS has a prayer in recruiting members when they demonstrate democracy as they envision it consisting of a society that defecates and urinates not just where they eat and sleep but on their fellow mans door step and any thing else that strikes their fancy. A society that turns their environment into a toxic waste site overwhelmed with infectious diseases. These are nothing more than infants that never need to concern themselves with hygiene or any of the other necessities of life so long as govt. exists to feed, cloth,change their diapers, and hose them down with a fire hose on occasion. This kind of movement will be short lived with this type of lifestyle.

    14. joann says:

      It has been at least a month+ and what have these Wall Street Protesters accomplished other than establishing that they are frustrated, etc.? What is their plan of action? Are they going to 'live' in tents for an undeterminate amount of time? There has been instances of violence, loitering, extensive garbage and anti-semisitism. Do none of these people work? Obama once bashed the Tea Party now he sees fit to show a comparison because it fits his goals of disrupting our society. The Tea Party never protested by camping out in tents. They were and still organized with a clear set of changes they would like to see come about. Joe B…no…not one group should have more rights than another. To me,however, these Wall Street Protesters not only have overstepped their bonds but are taking advantage of our laws. These Wall Street Protesters need to protest against Obama's policies with his reckless spending. It is he who is ignoring our Constitution by overstepping our congress.

    15. HES says:

      Years ago (I am 82) one would ask "what are the real reasons for their actions?" A gang like the "Occupiers" (trespassers and squatters) is not likely to tell us what their real objectives are, nor who their supporters and sponsors are, either. Example: The "SDS" claimed to be "anti-war," but their real objective was disorder and revolution, with the Viet Nam war as a pretext.

    16. Peggy Brittain says:

      You said "No one is asking for income redistribution, but how about parity of taxation? Parity of access of all individuals to political influence? Why not then just assign the number of votes to which you are entitled to how much your personal assets are worth?" So why aren't the "Occupiers" protesting in front of the White House and at the home of GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt? His company paid no taxes, sent their jobs to China and THE PRESIDENT named him chairman of his Jobs Council? How many of the Occupiers have gotten jobs through that council and Mr. Immelt? Put the blame where it should be.

    17. Peggy Brittain says:

      Yes, Wall St firms took advantage because there was no responsible adult watching the house. They acted like high school kids whose parents were both away for the weekend. But, those CDS insurance against failure would never have been created if Congress, Barney Frank, Frank Dodd, Sen, Obama and many others before them, hadn't pushed the banks into making those risky home loans to people who would never be able to keep up with the payments. As a former banker, I know that every line of a mortgage loan is explained to the borrower, so I do not buy that they did not know what they were getting into, As a compliance officer, my job was to make sure that the consumer was protected from being taken advantage of. I spent many hours a week reviewing files to make sure we followed the thousands of rules in place to ensure that protection.

    18. Peggy Brittain says:

      I am angry too, but put the anger where it belongs. Those people in the Occupy movement would take anything congress would give them. Their whole premise is free stuff, student loan forgiveness. A free ride in general. They want a government who gives them everything. Guess what, in that kind of government, they would be poorer than they are now. They certainly wouldn't have those Iphones, notebooks, ipads etc. Look at the 99% in VZ, Cuba, Russia and all other govts. who run everything. Those college students with large loans should be angry with the professors, the unions and the college boards who have raised the tuition to such extremes. Yes, they should protest their grievances; but they should protest the right people.

    19. eddiebutch says:

      Looking at the comparison of the Tea party and the OWS only fortifies my argument. We should be making rules to live by with the ruling parties. Example: If the congress goes over a 3% defecit, then the rule should be : They (the congress) are not eligible for re-election. They are just like us. Their retirement should be with Social Security. their retirement should be the same as ours. If they get sick ,they should be dependant on medicare.We do not need the 5&6 term repeaters like the heros in congress , example being henry waxman, or any republican counterpart. These guys are doing business, not service . Lets get smart and tell them what they can do. Stop the nonsense with that crap that we are an entitlement society. We are paying from day one. They broke the lock box and spent the money that was payed into Social Security, they are raiding the medicare funds. Time to pay up, Senators and Reps , no more excuses.

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