- The Washington Times - Monday, October 24, 2011

Lefty agitators aren’t succeeding in their efforts to inspire middle America. A solid majority remains ambivalent about the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, according to a Gallup poll published Oct. 18. The survey found 22 percent of Americans approve of this anti-capitalist outburst, 15 percent disapprove, and 63 percent admit they don’t know enough about it to say.

It’s little wonder the public is confused, as most of those participating seem incapable of articulating a coherent reason for being there. Media coverage presents the reaction to the occupiers as little more than a curiosity, except where local residents are miffed over demonstrators befouling their property. However, there is nothing amusing about modern-day hippies spreading unrest and clogging boulevards throughout U.S. cities.

Occupation organizers clearly want to hearken back to the massive protest movements of the 1960s that shook the establishment and altered American culture, in many cases for the worse. U.S. streets have been mostly quiet for decades now, but the lull has ended. Tea Party rallies that kicked off in 2009 to protest the Obama administration’s overspending were peaceful and tidy - a characteristic of the political right. In contrast, the left orchestrated an angry occupation last winter of Wisconsin’s capitol building by public union members upset that Gov. Scott Walker might trim their budget-busting benefits. State officials estimated the cost of cleaning up the mess left behind at $7.5 million.

Union organizers are laboring to transfer that emotional energy to the current occupy movement, whose goal is to swap capitalism for socialism. It’s fitting that former community organizer Barack Obama has tried to seize the reins of radical anger and steer it toward support for his re-election campaign.

Occupy organizers present themselves as modern-day patriots walking in the footsteps of the Founders. The group’s “99 percent” website is calling for an assembly in Philadelphia starting July 4, 2012 and modeled after the 1776 gathering that laid the groundwork for American Independence, but there is nothing patriotic about their collectivist agenda. It supports the sort of Leviathan the Founders were determined to prevent.

The coming election year will be ripe for more struggles over America’s future. Mr. Obama already has instructed his minions to “put on your marching shoes.” While most participants see the occupy rallies as an opportunity to run wild, swept along with the mob, its organizers know exactly what they’re doing. They’re seeking to counter the Tea Party’s growing influence with a movement of their own, hoping to inspire a dramatic political shift to the left. The more Americans realize the true goals of the provocateurs, the more swiftly they will reject it.

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