The sage old adage reminds us, "Don't kill the messenger," but sometimes it seems that the messenger kills the message.
Unlike the Tea Party Movement, which is so often now compared to the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, the occupiers blame Wall street for our nation's fiscal woes, while the Tea Partiers (No, unlike many liberals, being as dumb as foxes, I refuse to call them "Tea Baggers"!), blame the government. Actually, the government did start the problem in many ways, including by initiating unrealistic demands on financial institutions to lend to knowingly risky borrowers in the politically correct hope of attracting more minorities to the market. In the end however, both proponents of capitalism and social engineering lost in that debacle with many innocent casualties among the populace. But many of our problems also stretch back to the numerous abuses of our Constitution, including burdensome federal entitlement programs and the creation of the Federal Reserve. But plenty of Wall Street and corporate greed added fuel to the fire as well. As in many a garden variety domestic dispute, there are three sides to this story, too: his, hers, and the truth, which is hidden somewhere in the middle.
Yet the left wing, (A.K.A.: "Main Stream") media attempted to demonize Tea Partiers as nearly, or perhaps even not so nearly, seditious. But in the end, despite all their "objective journalistic" efforts, the best they could do was show a few tastelessly worded signs by a small fringe faction, and report on a Congressman being allegedly called a racial slur, which despite all the surrounding video and audio equipment was oddly enough never proven.
What was present was families, clean cut folks, and angry but civilized citizens of several ideological, partisan, gender, age, class and racial stripes, exercising their right to free assembly and free speech, and without causing a disturbance, without blocking any public access, without civil disobedience, and without even leaving their garbage behind.
Then we have the Occupy Wall Street crowd, the fair-haired children of the left wing media, who also share the same rights of free assembly and free speech, but either are unaware or are unconcerned by another old, sage adage: "Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose."
Already in New York, protesters refused to move from privately owned property and were granted a last minute extension by the owner before police had to move in. Numerous reports of drug use has been reported. Fox News (specifically) crews have been impeded and physically threatened, and one woman has already claimed she was sexually assaulted. Rats and unsanitary conditions have been reported in the area as well and protesters have already clashed with police on numerous occasions for willfully blocking public access and refusing to comply with police attempting to maintain order while simultaneously protecting their first amendment rights. Oakland, California has just gone through a deja vu of the turbulent 60's with riots, fires and vandalism.
Some reports are now saying that released felons, anarchists and even children are showing up in some of these camps.
When some of these loons are interviewed on the news, each seems to have a different gripe, many of which have nothing at all to do with the economy. Some have said they can't find a job, others said they quit one to protest, and still others have said they aren't even looking for one. Neither the government nor Wall Street caused that situation. Just pop into your local fast food franchise some time and see how many foreigners and even senior citizens are now working the jobs that too many of our able bodied and younger fellow Americans are either too lazy to apply for, or feel the lower paid wage, while still better than none at all, is far beneath their lofty sense of dignity, apparently much unlike an unemployment or welfare check.
Many of those interviewed also actually sound (and look) like the garden variety dregs who typically show up to riot and raise havoc at international government summits. These "rebels WITHOUT a cause" never seem to have any cohesion to each other, let alone a clue as to what they're really even talking about.
Calls are going out for food donations, and other needed resources, and some individuals and organizations have donated and are raising money to continue to do so. Hey, their dime! I don't recall the Tea Partiers, many of whom also lost their jobs, ever whining or seeking hand-OUTS. They were more concerned with cutting government waste to create more hope and opportunity for a hand UP.
I do believe that at the heart of the Occupy Wall Street protest organization are well intended people, who do have focus and a legitimate agenda, but seem to be lacking in leadership skills. And certainly, not all of the protesters by any means are unstable, misinformed, unkempt, or trouble makers, but are nevertheless tragically tainted by the more grandiose characters among them who do fall into those sordid categories. But this open free-for-all, originally intended to resolve real economic problems in our country caused by both the private and the public sector, is now increasingly turning into a magnet for every low-life, mutated miscreant in the country with far more spare time on his hands than soap.
The agitators and anarchists are now moving in and could very well soon unravel any potentially positive fruits reaped by what started out as peaceful protests.
Interpersonal communication skills 101, if not common sense, teaches that it is often not what you say that can have a greater impact (or unintended consequences), but rather, how you say it. My own admitted sympathy toward the people of Israel aside, the terrorist groups that are not only often passively accepted, if not encouraged and supported by the Palestinians are much of the reason why I have little concern for what the Palestinian side has to say, right or wrong. Call me crazy, but when you start blowing up innocent and defenseless civilians in "soft target areas" like shopping malls and restaurants to make your point, you lose any semblance of credibility, and I tend to tune you out pretty quickly. I'm certainly not alone in that regard, and a similar lesson should be learned soon by the Occupy Wall Streeters, who best start honing their leadership skills, and scrutinizing the now continually infiltrating vermin and that will soon lead to their cause's demise, before more riot police have to do it for them, and the tail is already starting to wag the dog. In the 60's, there was plenty of sympathy and like minded thinking to go around with the civil rights protesters and the Viet Nam War protesters, but it was too often their errant behavior, foul mouths and their filthy, disheveled appearances that ironically only further impeded, rather than further advanced progress for their argument. Even in times of economic disparity, many, if not most people turn a deaf ear to who they perceive as rabble rousers and bums, and there is never any justification for anarchy. If peaceful protest was good enough for proven, effective leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, then there is no reason why it should not suffice for this eclectic gaggle as well. Otherwise protest, right, wrong or otherwise, is soon reduced to little more than pesky background noise, and the message then gets lost amidst the chaos.
As long as we are comparing the Occupy Wall Street Movement to the Tea Partiers, then the occupiers might want to emulate the far more civilized, intuitive, and highly successful tactics of the Tea Partiers, which now speak for themselves, given the significantly and historical change in the US House of Representatives, and the vast increase of listening and sympathetic ears that has grown for that movement just since the last election. To achieve any hope of real progress, the Occupy Wall Street protesters need to keep their eyes on the ball, as well as do a better job of policing themselves, and soon.
And maybe clean up a little, too.