The Tea Party vs. Occupy Wall Street

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 7th, 2011

As far as Protest Movements go these Tea Party People can be Rather Boring

Everyone who follows the mainstream media knows that the Tea Party is nothing more than a bunch of radical racists out to raise hell and get into your face if you dare to disagree with them (see Glenn Beck on the Mall by Lexington posted 8/29/2010 on The Economist).

It is indeed both presumptuous and preposterous of Mr Beck to claim the mantle of Martin Luther King and the civil-rights movement for his own noxious style of politics. However, not seeing is believing: I saw no evidence at all of racism at this particular event. It was a good-natured, somewhat solemn, gathering of mostly white and well-to-do people from all over America who for some reason or other saw fit to respond to Mr Beck’s plea to show up to “restore” America’s honour. The main focus of the formal ceremony consisted of paying tribute to the country’s servicemen and veterans, of whom there were many in the crowd.

This was Glenn Beck‘s rally back in 2010.  Probably the most hated man in the Tea Party movement.  Those on the Left belittle and mock this man to no end.  Because they think he is dangerous.  Incendiary.  A racist of the first degree.  If so, where was the racism?  The radicalism?  The in your face anger?

As far as protest movements go these Tea Party people can be rather boring.

The Mark of a True Liberal is Being Generous with other People’s Private Property

So, yes, the Tea Party appears to be rather boring when they protest.  Can’t say that for the Occupy Wall Street people, though.  They’ve been pretty provocative.  Breaking the law.  Getting arrested.  And being really, really annoying (see For Some, Wall Street Is Main Street by Cara Buckley posted 10/7/2011 on The New York Times).

Panini and Company normally sells sandwiches to tourists in Lower Manhattan and the residents nearby, but in recent days its owner, Stacey Tzortzatos, has also become something of a restroom monitor. Protesters from Occupy Wall Street, who are encamped in a nearby park, have been tromping in by the scores, and not because they are hungry.

Ms. Tzortzatos’s tolerance for the newcomers finally vanished when the sink was broken and fell to the floor. She installed a $200 lock on the bathroom to thwart nonpaying customers, angering the protesters.

“I’m looked at as the enemy of the people,” she said.

I don’t recall the destruction of private party at any Tea Party rallies.

A sandwich shop is not a big corporation.  It’s a small business.  A Mom and Pop type store.  I don’t recall this demand on their list of demands.  Free access to use and destroy Mom and Pop stores everywhere for their exploitation of the working class.  All one or two that work for them.

Mothers have grown weary of navigating strollers through the maze of barricades that have sprouted along the streets. Toddlers have been roused from sleep just after bedtime by chanting and pounding drums.

Heather Amato, 35, a psychologist who lives near the protest area, said she felt disturbed by some of the conduct of the protesters. She said she had to shield her toddler from the sight of women at the park dancing topless.

I can’t understand why these people would have trouble getting a job.  Chanting and pounding drums at all hours of the night.  And girls getting so drunk that they let the Bobbsey Twins out in public.  (If you ever been on spring break you know you usually don’t see the girls come out until after vast amounts of alcohol have been consumed.  ).  If that doesn’t say responsibility and punctuality I don’t know what does.

The site of the protests, Zuccotti Park, is privately owned but open to the public. Melissa Corley, a spokeswoman for Brookfield Office Properties, which owns the park, said in a statement that sanitation conditions had reached “unacceptable levels.”

If you’ve never been to an outdoor concert let me clarify.  There’s trash everywhere.  And lots of pee.  Perhaps even some poop.  Sad to say I knew of a guy in construction that liked to leave ‘surprises’ for his coworkers.  In a trench.  In a dumpster.  In an attic.  He just thought it was funny.  He was eventually fired.  But I don’t think it was poop-related.  I believe he failed a drug test.

Several businesses said they had no choice but to respond to the influx of protesters by closing bathrooms.

Mike Keane, who owns O’Hara’s Restaurant and Pub, said that theft of bathroom soap and toilet paper had skyrocketed and that one protester used the bathroom but failed to properly use the toilet.

Both Ms. Tzortzatos, owner of Panini & Co., and Mr. Keane said that the protesters rarely bought anything, yet hurled curses when they were told that only paying customers could use their bathrooms.

Steve Zamfotis, manager of another nearby store, Steve’s Pizza, said: “They are pests. They go to the bathroom and don’t even buy a cup of coffee.”

Mr. Zamfotis said he closed his bathroom after it repeatedly flooded from protesters’ bathing there.

Stealing toilet paper?  That would explain some of the unacceptable sanitary conditions in the park.

Speaking of poop, this reminds me of another poop anecdote.  The same guy who told me about that construction worker had some port-a-johns on job site.  Apparently he pissed off some workers.  After which they, too, didn’t use the toilet facilities properly.  They didn’t lift the lids.  They just pooped on them.  Some people protest in strange and mysterious ways.  Which is what I’m guessing happened here.  Either on the toilet seat.  Or, perhaps, on the floor.  And that reminds me of yet another poop anecdote.  I knew a lawyer who did that once.  He was angry at his landlord.  So he pooped in the stairwell.  I guess that showed her.  Just like these protestors showed this restaurant owner.

Kira Annika, a spokeswoman for the protesters, wrote in an e-mail that she had not heard of such complaints. “We were under the impression that the local business community appreciated our patronage and the attention that we give them,” she wrote.

Still, in a widely distributed pamphlet, “Welcome To Liberty Plaza: Home of Occupy Wall Street,” participants were given explicit instructions on where to find relief.

“After you’ve dined,” the pamphlet reads, “feel free to refresh yourself in the restrooms of neighboring businesses like Burger King and McDonalds without feeling obligated to buy anything.”

A manager of the Burger King in question said he had no trouble with the protesters, though a maintenance worker at the McDonald’s, Deon Cook, said that in recent days he had been forced to clean the bathroom every five minutes.

How generous they are with other people’s private property.  The mark of a true liberal.  I’m sure they would be just as generous with their own private property.  And welcome strangers into their homes to use their toilets.

Yves Delva, a manager at a nearby Modell’s Sporting Goods, said sales had been brisk for sleeping bags, sweatshirts, hand warmers sweatpants and goggles — that last item presumably bought to protect the eyes from pepper spray, which has been used by police officers in response to the demonstrations. “We’ve been profiting,” Mr. Delva said.

Well this is strange.  This is capitalism.  And these are products of corporations.  I guess they’ll surrender their principles when it gets cold and wet.  Probably even be willing to go back to their parent’s house.  To a warm, dry bed.  And heat.  Once the temperatures fall.  And the rainy season sets in.  One thing for sure.  They ain’t the protestors their parents were.

The Problem with the Occupy Wall Street people is that they are not more Tea Party-Like

And it’s just not me saying this.  Even one of their supporters says this (see Tea Party Lessons for the Left by Michael Tomasky posted 10/4/2011 on Yahoo! News).

But now comes Occupy Wall Street. Is the cosmic score about to be evened? Maybe. But paradoxically, only if this new left protest movement embraces some crucial lessons from the Tea Party movement—and if it outgrows certain impulses from 1968 that continue to loom large in the left’s imagination.

… To succeed, it would have to model itself on 1963, not 1968. And I’m not confident that any left-wing protest movement today can understand that.

What do I mean? In 1963, we had the March on Washington. No one threw anything. There were no drum circles. The protesters of 1963 said to America, “We are like you; in fact, we are you.”…The protesters of 1968 said to America, “We are not like you; in fact, we hate you…”

What changed, between 1963 and 1968? This: In 1963, protest was undertaken for the purpose of winning. By 1968, protest became a carnival of self-expression. Winning was the stated goal, but deep down, emotionally, it wasn’t really the goal: sticking it to the man was. Imagine that the SCLC-led protesters of 1963 had indulged in self-expression, and ask yourself whether they would have succeeded. I think I need say no more on that.

So these protesters are getting it wrong.  They’re protesting for the fun of protesting.  Not for some deep underlying philosophical principle.  It appears you can summarize all of their grievances and demands with one word.  PARTY!  Sort of the way it was in 1968.  I guess.

And this is where today’s protesters need to steal a page from the Tea Party activists. I beg, plead, implore, importune: Get some spokespeople out there for the cause who are just regular Americans…

The genius of the Tea Party movement lies entirely in the fact that its public faces were, by and large, regular Americans. How many stories did we all read about the homemaker from Wilkes-Barre and the IT guy from Dubuque who’d never been involved in politics in their lives and never thought they would be until the Tea Party came along? These people resonate with other Americans: “She’s my neighbor; he’s just like me.” That gave the Tea Party movement incredible force and made the media take it seriously, and making the media take you seriously is, alas, at least half the battle in our age.

The OWS movement is part of the way there. The “We Are the 99 Percent” trope is powerful. It is true. But the movement has to prove that it really is the 99 percent. It has to win middle America, and the way to win middle America is to be middle America. For all the Seattle-ish longhairs down in Zucotti Park—whom the mainstream media and the right wing will undoubtedly highlight—there are, to be sure, homemakers in Wilkes-Barre and IT guys in Dubuque who sympathize. Find them. Put them out there. Get them on cable.

So if I understand this correctly, the problem with the answer to the Tea Party, the Occupy Wall Street people, is that they are not more Tea Party-like.  They’re not as polite.  As law abiding.  As clean.  As respectable (you don’t see many bare-breasted women dancing at Tea Party events).  So they need to be more like this.  And less like themselves.  More like respectable grownups.  And less like overindulgent children.  Who have but one thing on their mind.  PARTY!

The Tea Party Respects the Rule of Law and Private Property Rights

Occupy Wall Street is not the Tea Party.  For the Tea Party is interested in the Rule of Law.  The Constitution.  They are concerned that the nation is drifting too far away from the intent of the Founding Fathers.  Those guiding principles that have made the United States that shining city upon the hill.  The ultimate destination for emigrants everywhere.  Whereas the Occupy Wall Street People want bigger government and more free stuff.  And, of course, they want to do one other thing.  PARTY (see The Left’s Pathetic Tea Party by Rich Lowry posted 10/4/2011 on National Review Online)!

In the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Left thinks it might have found its own tea party…

This is a sign either of desperation to find anyone on the left still energized after three years of Hope and Change, or of a lack of standards, or both. The Left’s tea party is a juvenile rabble, a woolly-headed horde that has been laboring to come up with one concrete demand on the basis of its — in the words of one sympathetic writer — “horizontal, autonomous, leaderless, modified-consensus-based system with roots in anarchist thought.”

The Right’s tea party had its signature event at a rally at the Lincoln Memorial where everyone listened politely to patriotic exhortations and picked up their trash and went home. The Left’s tea party closed down a major thoroughfare in New York City — the Brooklyn Bridge — and saw its members arrested in the hundreds.

The Tea Party respects the Rule of Law.  And private property rights.  That’s why they’re not pigs when visiting other people’s property.  They don’t poop and pee wherever they want.  Disrupt traffic.  Or get arrested.  I mean, if you had to have either the Tea Party people or the Occupy Wall Street people be your next door neighbor, who would you choose?

What was remarkable about the Right’s tea party is that it depended on solid burghers who typically don’t have the time or inclination to protest anything. Occupy Wall Street is a project of people who do little besides protest. It’s all down to a standard operating procedure: the guitars, the drums, the street theater, the age-old chants…

The New York Times quoted one Occupy Wall Street veteran telling a newcomer: “It doesn’t matter what you’re protesting. Just protest.” That captures the coherence of the exercise, which is a giant, ideologically charged, post-adolescent sleepover complete with face paint and pizza deliveries.

Again, I think we can sum up their grievances and demands with one word.  PARTY!

Now it’s Time for Them to Stop Thinking about Themselves and Just go Home

There’s an expression that goes like this.  Don’t sh*t where you eat.  A vulgar expression, yes, but it’s kind of apropos.  It means you don’t have sex with someone at work.  Because if the relationship goes sour, as they almost always do when you fool around at work, it can become very awkward around each other after the break up.  Which can be very unpleasant.  And strain the working relationship.

Now the ‘having a job’ part of this analogy has nothing to do with the Occupy Wall Street people.  It’s more of a literal meaning.  If you’re trying to win the hearts and minds of the people around you, well, you can’t go pooping all over their private property.  Nothing says ‘I hate you more’ than an unwelcomed poop.  And strains the solidarity relationship.

Of course, these indiscriminate poopers don’t care about anyone but themselves.  They protest not for an overriding principle.  But to get free stuff for themselves.  And, of course, to PARTY!  That’s why they have long overstayed their welcome in this neighborhood.  Now it’s time for them to stop thinking about themselves.  And just go home.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #19: “Philosophical debates can be effective but character assassination is more expedient, especially when no one agrees with your philosophy.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 22nd, 2010

WARNING.  The following contains some explicit language and sexual content and may be inappropriate to some.

“F*ck you.”  “Ass h*le.”  “You’re mother is a whore.”

We all probably heard these before.  Directed at us.  At the end of an argument.  Which means we’ve argued well.  For when the invectives fly, you’ve won the argument.

 A good sales man would never call your mother a whore.  Instead, if you say ‘no’, they come up with other reasons for you to say ‘yes’.  They believe they can get you to see things their way.  And often do.  Not so when it comes to politics.  Especially if you’re arguing with a liberal.

A lot of liberals are liberals for no good reason.  Calling yourself a liberal is just a way to feel good about yourself, to make you feel more enlightened and smarter than non-liberals.  But most are not as smart or enlightened as they would like to think they are. 

I met an old friend for lunch.  She was once a liberal but has since moved to where the bulk of the country is.  Center-right.  She brought an old friend of hers with her.  From her liberal past.  A single mom.  Who successfully juggled career and motherhood.  Did it well, too.  And, of course, my dear old friend introduced me as a conservative.  And she said it with a smirk.

I have long since stopped discussing politics outside my inner circle.  Political and philosophical debate is the raison d’être there.  It’s what we do for intellectual fun.  While drinking some fine single malt.  A time and a place for everything.  And casual conversation is neither the time nor place for politics. 

So I was polite and behaved.  But they kept poking the bear.  Laughing and enjoying themselves.  So, I thought, fine.  Let’s discuss politics.  The current subject was George W. Bush.  Not my favorite president.  Not all that conservative when it comes to the spending.  But I respect him.  I understand his philosophical basis, much of which I agree with.  But there are things I don’t like about him.  So I asked for some specifics.  To make it a fair debate.  Why was he a bad president?  Because he’s an idiot, she said.  Yeah, I asked, but what specifically has he done that you think was idiotic?  Have you heard him speak, she asked.  I mean, she said, he sounds like an idiot.  And so went the conversation.

I pressed for specifics.  Didn’t get any.  Then the name calling started.  I wasn’t being very tolerant of her views.  I replied, but you haven’t told me your views.  All I know is that you think Bush is an idiot.  Apparently, that should have sufficed.  Luckily, we had already consumed a bottle of wine by then so it was easy to change the subject and forget our little dustup.

And that’s a common experience I have with liberals.  They know everything.  But can’t explain anything.  I’m then called intolerant for not seeing things their way while they refuse to consider my arguments for seeing things my way.  In politics, people believe they base their opinions on a sound philosophical basis.  Most times they don’t.  They just heard something funny on Saturday Night Live or the Daily Show.  And they repeat it.  That’s why, when pressed for specifics, they can’t give any.  And then the name calling ensues.

DO YOU KNOW what ‘tea bagging’ is?  If you’re a gay man, you probably do.  At least, one of the meanings.  It’s a sex act in the gay community.  It’s when a dominate man lowers his genitals into a submissive man’s mouth.  It gets its name from the similarity of lowering a tea bag into a cup of hot water.  It’s a popular sex act, for it has migrated into the heterosexual community.  Without the BDSM aspects, though.  But when people call someone a ‘tea bagger’, it generally refers to the homosexual act.  Because of the degrading/humiliation aspects of the BDSM role playing.

David Gergen was on Anderson Cooper’s 360 on CNN.  They were discussing the new grassroots movement known as the Tea Party movement.  It’s called this in honor of those who stood up against the mercantilist policies of the British Empire who said you can drink whatever tea you’d like as long as it is British East India Company tea.  Good tea, yes, but it was British tea.  The Americans were taking a stand on principle.  And tossed the tea overboard. 

Carrying on with the ‘tea’ theme from the colonial period, Tea Party people used tea bags on signs and sent them in to Congress as a symbol of protest.  Some people used the symbol with a sexual undertone.  But most people didn’t.  Most didn’t know of the sexual act.  Well, these people, using tea bags as a symbol of their protest, were dubbed ‘tea baggers’.  And those familiar with the sexual act used it to attack and ridicule those people in the Tea Party movement.  When David Gergen said the Republicans were trying to find their voice, Anderson Cooper made the crude statement, “It’s hard to talk when you’re tea bagging.”

So much for your objective journalist.

Sure, the Tea Party people were worthy of such contempt for the things they stand for.  By the way, do you know what they stand for?  It’s easy to find out.  I did.  They adopted a 10 item agenda called Contract from America.  Here’s a bulleted list:

1. Identify constitutionality of every new law.
2. Reject emissions trading.
3. Demand a balanced federal budget.
4. Simplify the tax system.
5. Audit federal government agencies for constitutionality.
6. Limit annual growth in federal spending.
7. Repeal the health care legislation passed on March 23, 2010.
8. Pass an ‘All-of-the-Above’ Energy Policy.
9. Reduce Earmarks.
10. Reduce Taxes.

Yeah, I know.  This is crazy talk.  Do you realize what would happen if these ‘tea baggers’ got their way?  Everyone would probably live happily ever after.

FOR TOLERANT PEOPLE, liberals can be pretty intolerant of anyone who doesn’t think like them.  And they can get pretty nasty, attacking people instead of the issues.  The Conservatives are yearning to debate the issues.  But they get invective instead.  Why?  Because it’s the last refuge for someone who has already lost the argument.  Name calling.  Because it’s all they have.  They can’t beat you with the facts.  So they pummel you with personal attacks.

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