Maybe they asked the wrong people the wrong questions, but what came across is that the two older people totally get the President of the United States and appreciate what he's trying to do, whilst the six who are under thirty, do not. They so do not understand or appreciate this President to such an extent that I wonder what planet they're on, ne'mind what country. I also wonder if they understand how our government is supposed to work - how Congress relates to the President in terms of power and how the Supreme Court can hold sway over the other two sections. I wonder if they are familiar with the Constitution, other than to know that the First Amendment grants freedom of speech and that the Second Amendment is all about guns.
Too many people like this garner their ideas from the Professional Left, amongst whommany of the more knowledgeable have proven that they don't understand a lot of government procedure at all, as Jonathan Chait recently indicated in his seminal essay which has a lot of sniffy Professional Lefters chewing nails and pissing rust.
But it's the youngsters, the politically inexperienced and naive whom the Professional Lefters try to influence. Occasionally, Bill Maher makes a pretty apt and pretty perspicacious remark. The last time he did this was two years ago, in an interviewwith
Well, Bill's one of the Pied Pipers who love having young disciples hanging on his every word (and on his arm, if they happen to be female). Creepy Uncle Keith - he who reads the Thurber bedtime stories and calls the President "quisling" is another "voice." Then there's Cenk, the rude fortysomething "young" Turk. Soccermom white privilegist Joan Walsh is another. Auntie Arianna, the Queen Mother of Ratfuckers, loves young people, dahlink ... they work for nothing.
If the twentysomethings The New Yorker found are indicative of the driving force behind OWS, it deserves to fail; because they came across as entitled, sulky, spoiled and entirely clueless - especially about the President. Scariest of all is their propensity to cling to the candidacy of Ron Paul, which proves they know absolutely, positively nothing about politics or critical thinking. Let's look at them.
First up is Paul Lemaire.
Paul is twenty, and it says he's from Brooklyn, but Paul says he came from France in August and applied to go to school in January. However, he says he's not going to go. Instead, he's going to "dedicate himself to the movement," but he's running low on money and needs to find a part-time job so he can work part time and hang out with "the movement" the rest.
So ... I don't get this. Is he a French student here on a visa? If so, doesn't he kinda hafta sorta go to school?
When the reporters asked him what his specific demands were, Paul replied:-
I don’t have a specific demand. I want to cut the crap. If I were to have a demand of how we can change things, I want more democracy and to cut the corporate influence on politics.
So, Paul doesn't really have a demand. He just wants to "cut the crap." What crap? Be specific. Well, when he's specific, he pulls out the standard soundbyte of wanting "more democracy" and "wanting to cut the corporate influence on politics."
Now, I'm against Citizens United as much as the next guy, but not many people know that some of the organisations classes as "corporations" are entities people on the Left would support and would want to see them contributing more to political parties and candidates. Entities like the NAACP or unions or the Scouts.
Then Paul's asked how President Obama is doing and we get this interpretation of his Presidency:-
I don’t know how he’s doing. For what I thought he was in the beginning, he’s terrible. He’s not delivered on any of his policies. He’s consolidating the destruction of democracy.
So ... let me get this straight. The President has been terrible for America. He's "consolidating the destruction of democracy." Were I the reporter, I'd want to know how. Press this smarmy, little bastard. DADT is repealed. That would never happen with a Republican. The US has the start of what eventually will be universal health coverage. OK, it's not ideal, but if Paul would care to get out a history book - you know, facts - and read it, he'd find that Social Security, initially, would have been unrecogniseable today. It's a foundation upon which one builds, but since Paul's obviously had everything handed to him on a plate and has had enough of his old man's money to live off OWS for the past two months, I'd say he's suffering from terminal instant gratification. He wants his Maypo, and because he's not getting any of what he wants, the President hasn't delivered on any of Democratic policies. Again, were I the reporter, I'd have asked him to specify, or maybe the gist of the article is to show the utter ignorance of these people who want to defend what's increasingly becoming the right to camp out.
After all, as Paul says, they're "unstoppable."
Well, to Paul, I'd say va t'en.
Next up is Melinda Kashi from Staten Island. She's twenty-nine, almost thirty, but she hasn't learned much.
She's a student, but she finds it difficult to go back and forth to school because "student loans are killing her." But her demands are just as vacuous as Paul's, and she's almost a decade older.
My demand is to change the way corporations are working. I like to create change and I can’t do it by myself. That’s why I’m here, to have a positive effect on the world. I want people to realize that the world isn’t right.
Uh ... yeah, right. In case Melinda didn't know, the President actually signed a couple of laws which do change the way corporations work - one was the Dodd-Frank Act, which slaps regulations back onto Wall Street - not enough, mind, but, again, it's a start. When the President spoke a couple of months ago in response for various people demanding that Wall Street fat cats have their day in court, he pointed out that what the bulk of these people had done was immoral, but it was not illegal. Melinda should, like Paul, read some history, and she'd learn that in the past thirty years, literally all of the Wall Street restraints and regulations imposed by Franklin Roosevelt had been deconstructed by Ronald Reagan and William Jefferson Clinton, a Democrat.
The rest of her demands are just tripe. The President pointed to all of us and said that change begins with us, but Melinda whines that she can't do it alone, and she's there to have a positive effect on the world.
I'd say to Melinda, "You're twenty-nine, love. Time to grow up."
Oh, and her assessment of President Obama?
I don’t have a personal opinion on him. He has a lot of issues to deal with because he didn’t do anything in the beginning.
So, the President sat around on his ass for three years until he suddenly realised he had "a lot of issues" to deal with. This sounds like she's accusing him of having Lazy Negro Syndrome. It's all the more oxymoronic, considering Melinda is a person of colour ... hey, there's always Herman Cain.
It gets better. Here's "Dean Moriarty" (the quotation marks are his, so I'm assuming he's incognito), who's twenty-five and from Glen Cove, New York.
Dean lives on Long Island, so he flits back and forth to the Movement. He's just doing PR for OWS, until he can get an MFA in Script Writing. So, he's a graduate student. Since finance for graduate degrees is virtually nil and always has been, one has to assume that "Dean" is living off his parents' penny.
Well, his assessment of the President is certainly the most pejoratively colourful by far:-
Fuck Obama. I hate Obama, he’s part of the problem. Anyone here who supports Obama doesn’t know what they’re talking about. He appointed Geithner and let Larry Summers tell him what to do.
"Dean" is twenty-five. The last time Larry Summers was in any sort of governmental position was during Bill Clinton's second term. In 1997, "Dean" would have been ten years old. You have to be some kind of genius to understand what Summers did, who he was and what he accomplished for the Clinton administration (a balanced budget)if you were ten when Larry Summers sat in the Cabinet. I daresay, "Dean" had never heard of Summers before the President appointed him and Tim Geithner. I would venture to say that a lot of this tripe sounds like the shit Whoreanna Fuckington was spewing early on in the Obama Administration, and if so, this is living proof that people under the age of thirty are virtually brain dead when it comes to thinking and reasoning for themselves.
First of all, let's say "Dean" stays with "the Movement." Suppose during that time, he's sleeping outside in the extreme cold and wakes up with severe frostbite - so severe, he has to go to hospital. "Dean" is twenty-five, so if "Dean's" parents have healthcare cover, thanks to President Obama, whom "Dean" thinks is part of the problem, "Dean's" got healthcare via his parents to cover his frostbite or the boil on his ass. Shame it won't help his mental faculties.
For starters, having public trials for people who have committed treason, war crimes, fraud, and larceny. Demilitarize the N.Y.P.D.
Next up is Hank Norton, who's twenty and from Virginia. And, Lord, the fruit don't fall far from the trees in my Commonwealth. I'm actually beginning to think I should start a campaign to mow down all the apple and peach orchards in Virginia, thanks to Hank's words of wisdom. Suffice it to say that I rank Hank right alongside such Virginian greats as Eric Cantor, Ed Schultz and Lynddie England.
Hank has a job, so he only comes to OWS at night; but, heck, it's not as festive as in the daytime. Like, it's a party, right?
And did I mention Eric Cantor? Well, there's something not quite right about Hank. Here's what he's got to say about "the Movement."
I can’t really relate to people here who can’t find work. I’ve already had two jobs since I came to New York two months ago. The first job I had paid half of minimum wage and I stuck with it. The second job is not sufficient income, but I’m taking it seriously, trying to get more money, trying to please my boss. It’s about working hard. A lot of people think that they’re entitled to a job.
(Cough, cough!)Is he talking sense? Here's someone who's willing to work at something, anything as long as it's work, a job. But just as quickly, stupidity sets in. His demands?
I’m observing this more than anything. The main demand is for change in the distribution of wealth. We need a coherent and cohesive message because a lot of people are yelling and that’s where we alienate people. We need three goals. I think they should be tax the shit out of the rich, regulate, and downgrade the military, almost to the point of dissolving it. I want Ron Paul to get more attention because he’s the only Presidential candidate who offers true change.
The bold type is mine, because he's showing how abjectly ignorant he is about Ron Paul. Ron Paul is not about taxing the rich. Ron Paul is a Libertarian. Libertarians are not about taxing at all. If anything, they're about a flat tax, which would hit Hank harder than it would ever hit any of the one per cent. He's a Ron Paul fan because Paul wants to legalise drugs and bring all the troops home. He doesn't realise Paul doesn't give a shit about people who get sick off drug binges or that de-militarised personnel might not have a job or a home. That's their problem. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Hank doesn't realise that ol'Ron's preaching "property rights," if Hank even knows what that phrase means. Hank should talk to old people in Virginia. They'll put him right.
It gets worse. His opinion of the President?
None of what he promised during the election has happened. There’s been no real change. Ron Paul is our only hope.
I am really wanting to know what smoke this kid is on or where the hell he's been since 2008 - then it dawns on me. He's twenty years old - like the first doofus, Paul. These kids would have been seventeen when Obama campaigned and was elected. They've never voted. And they honestly cannot see anything the President has accomplished? Why? Because they're not gay and serving in the military, they're still being, largely, supported by their parents, and Obama didn't turn out to be the Magic Negro? And they think Ron Paul is our only hope?
I want to know where in New York City this kid worked for half the minimum wage, because that's illegal already; but at least he's experienced this, so it won't hurt him psychologically when his instrument of change, Ron Paul, wipes the minimum wage from the law books as unconstitutional.
When I come home in March, remind me to start tearing up my daddy's apple orchard. We can't spawn too many Hanks in the Commonwealth.
Now meet Michelle Thompson, who's twenty-two, from Connecticut and pregnant. Michelle is finding OWS hard, simply because she is pregnant and can't find a loo in the night. She babysat for a decent wage, but can't really do that now, because she's protesting fulltime. And even though it's hard because she's pregnant, some sacrifices are worth making.
Pardon me while I SCREAM. Woman, you are now responsible for another life. You made the decision to have this life, and most likely, you made the decision to get pregnant, for whatever reason. This ceases to be about OWS or you now, and starts to be about your child. Go home. Send them good vibes, but go home and see a doctor. Jesus Christ.
For women to get paid the same amount as men. It’s 2011! It’s ridiculous that men get paid more for the same jobs. We have to keep fighting. Also, a lot of my friends lived here and when the raid happened, everything was taken from them. There are many empty high rises in New York City, why don’t they just let us live there? They already take our money for taxes.
First of all, Michelle ... the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. I suggest you read up on it. It's the law that women get paid now as much as men. And since when does anyone take your money for taxes, sunshine, because you don't work, remember? You're asking for free housing? Check out Democrat and white man, Bill Clinton. He ended welfare as we know it.
Her assessment of the President?
He expects Americans to pay for health care. How will we pay for health care if we don’t have addresses and it’s so hard to get shelter and a job? Give us somewhere to stay and give us a job. It’s simple.
I'm banging my head on the table now. Is this woman for real? I mean is she, like, special needs or what? Americans have always paid for health care, and I'll let you in on a little secret, Michelle, even the fabled single-payer healthcare is not free. People pay higher taxes for free-at-source healthcare in the UK, where I live. Significantly higher. Like 30 percent. You're asking for the President to give you shelter and give you a job and free healthcare to boot. Just what do you think he is, Michelle? Do you know what the President's powers are? Do you know that he doesn't make laws, Congress does? And if he gave you a job anyway, as you say, you couldn't do it, because you're pregnant. Besides, he broadened criteria for eligibility for Medicaid, so you could have health cover immediately - paid for by the taxpayer, of course. On the other hand, if your parents have health cover, you could still be included on that too, thanks to the man you think does nothing.
Go home, Michelle. Just go. I pity your child's future.
And last, but not least, of the youngsters, here's Russ Runyeon, who's twenty-five and a teacher from Nashville.
Now, either Russ has lost his job or he's given it up, because he's been in New York since OWS started, and that ain't teaching school in Tennessee. Still, his demands are coherent enough:-
My personal demand is to unify this movement and establish defined, clear goals. Specifically, I’m concerned with socializing health care, affordability of a college education, student loans, and bank and trade regulations in order to stabilize American businesses.
Reasonable and clearly-defined goals, but what he doesn't realise is that all of those goals can only be accomplished legislatively, and that means getting out to vote. Russ also takes a pejorative view of the Presidency:-
Obama is a celebrity. He’s become less genuine in reference to the proposals he made during the campaign for Presidency.
On a good day, I don't know what Russ teaches, but I sure hope he doesn't teach history, because he needs a lesson in Civics 101 badly. Russ needs to be reminded of what exactly the President has achieved in his first term in office. The divine Milt Shook does an excellent job in listing in great detail what the President has accomplished. Russ and anyone else can read about them here. Milt's even provided links.
That's a pretty impressive list. In fact, he's accomplished more in three years than FDR did in his first term and just as much as Johnson did in his only term. Has the President faced obstacles? Of course, he has; but Russ and the rest of these kids need to disabuse themselves of the notion of an Imperial President. Obama's not a dictator. He doesn't legislate and he has to work with the Congress he's given. Unfortunately, that means working with Blue Dog Dems like Bill Nelson or Michelle Thompson's Senator, Joe Lieberman. Unfortunately, considering the fact that Russ and "Dean Moriarty" probably heeded the Progressive moose call led by Ed Schultz in 2010 and didn't vote in the Midterms, the President has to deal with, arguably, the most ignorant, most recalcitrant House in the history of the United States.
In short, Russ can sit on his ass in New York all he wants. If he wants a President to move Leftwards, he needs to get out the vote and get rid of people in his home state like Lamar Alexander. Because if he doesn't vote, he's going to get Senator Alexander's party in the White House, and that would be very bad for Russ, indeed.
But then, we get some glimmers of hope.
Meet, first, Artie Ravitz. Artie's seventy-two (that's right) and from Pennsylvania.
Artie comes up about once a week. He's retired and financially secure, having owned his own toy business. Artie keeps busy by working for the President's re-election and for the Democrats.
That's right. A grassroots organiser.
His demand is beautifully simple:-
My demand is to correct the system because it’s skewed in favor of the rich and against the poor. My feeling is that Robin Hood was right.
And his assessment of the President?
I like Obama. He means well and he’s trying hard. The party of “no,” the Republicans, are against him. If he said he was in favor of motherhood, they’d be against him.
Brilliantly put. Artie should talk to the previous protesters, but it's debatable whether they'd listen to someone like him. These are the same people who refused to allow John Lewis a word at Occupy Atlanta, who heckled the President and were drowned out by his audience of everyday people, and who rejected any advice from Van Jones, but who embrace the Ayn Rand philosophy of Rand Paul on the one hand and flock to be filmed on camera with one percenter hypocrite Michael Moore, whose ownracism has been exposed.
It doesn't make sense, and you have to, at one time, wonder, fear for and be afraid of these people ... because they are the future of this country.
And lastly, let's meet a pragmatist, Mary Most, who's fifty-six and from Brooklyn. Mary's dropped by everyday, but she can't say much about what's been going on. She works for the city, and Mayor Bloomberg is her boss.
Again, her demands are reasonably coherent, but note that she has a teenager who, somehow, has got the idea that democracy in this country is skewed.
There was so much disrespect for the law yesterday. If I have a restraining order, you can’t keep attacking me while your lawyers deal with the restraining order. They’d made arrangements month ago to take anything that was left here to the Homeless Coalition. A landlord can’t throw all my stuff into a compactor if he evicts me and just say, “Oh well.” That’s not the way an eviction is supposed to work. My teenage daughter is reading “Persepolis” and she told me that this is what they did in Iran. I want to justify to her what’s happening and say we have a democracy. But she thinks the United States quells democracy in action.
Perhaps daughter got that idea from the only Presidential administration with which she's familiar - that of Bush. This President has actually done things by the Constitutional letter. He's made sure Congress legislates, even though it doesn't want to and whines about getting the President involved in matters where he really shouldn't be.
If that's the case, Ms Most needs to tell her daughter that change has to start bottoms up. They seek and work for representatives who reflect their constituents' views and, hopefully, can influence the President.
Her assessment of the President, however, is a bit oblique.
He’s a conservative Democrat who’s never going to make the left-leaning Democrats happy. I’m a pretty radical Democrat and I didn’t expect to find any elected official to represent my beliefs, so I’m not as disappointed in Obama. He’s done extraordinary things. I think Occupy needs to claim some victories because rarely do environmental or political movements gain victory.
Firstly, I don't think that the President is conservative. I think he's a Left-leaning pragmatist who understands the lay of the land on Capitol Hill and also within his own party. He practices the conciliatory policies of Saul Alinsky and understand that the democratic process involves compromise. And as for Ms Most's last comment, I'd ask her what, exactly, was the Civil Rights' movement and what did it achieve?
Reading this article, made me think instinctively of Chris Matthews's cleverly disguised race rant last Saturday on Alex Witt's show, when he mimicked the President for being so smart (read: "uppity"), for accusing him of telling the American people to go home and let him sort the mess out.
That was wrong. The President has always said that the change we could believe in comes from us, and that we had to begin that change. Most of the above - well, six-and-a-half of them - didn't listen to the President. I guess, even for the young, it's hard to listen to a black man who isn't part of your radical stereotype. The President did not fail us. We failed him. He didn't tell us to go home, although Chris would like to believe that. We went home of our own volition. We went home, vegetated into couch potato status and waited for the Magic Negro to wave his wand.
It's always easier to blame the black man, isn't it?