IF IT'S NOT ONE thing it's another as conservatives recoil from the Wall Street demonstrations as if colonial America had been peacefully hatched from an ostrich egg. I can tell you the weathiest among us don't like it one bit despite their respectful silence over the rise of Tea Party protests. (We want our country back! Remember?)
So it's not surprising that one of the right wing's leading head cases, Glenn Beck, has assumed his familiar Paul Revere persona by warning his audience of the revolutionary intent of the protestors. Here's what he had to say about it, and if you're not a millionaire, you can stop reading now:
'Capitalists if you think that you can play footsies with these people you're wrong. They will come for you and drag you into the streets and kill you."
In his view, what else can you expect from "Marxist radicals"? Or "Robespierre." Whichever comes first, I guess. Actually, Beck was among those who came first in vigorously promoting the Tea Party rallies.
There have been many other warnings from the voices on the right (and middle in some instances) who are clearly troubled by any disruption that would cause Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley et al a good night's sleep. Caught with their free-speech notions down, some of the broadcast chatterers have had no trouble being quite picky about the thrust of the protests. They have complained that there is no defined purpose, no facile organizational structure, no homogeneous leadership - just noise in the streets. It is the media's way of saying Hang on, Sloopy, the protestors will go away. My hunch, however, is that this is more than a fleeting moment of dissent. And I also have a hunch that the movement's worried critics would privately agree with me.
We went through much of this during the Viet Nam protests that eventually dominated the narrative. Good Lord. Polite society then asked, should we be listening to anti-war hippies, Communists, stragglers and the misguided sons and daughters of corporate managers - a gathering that started spontaneously and raised the ante to the highest levels of government. (It forced LBJ to step aside from the race.)
Unsurprisingly, many of the media voices and pols have not said much about the target of the protests, Wall Street's malignant schemes that ignited the great economic dive that began back in the 90s. You don't bite the hand that feeds you, and the corporate media know that better than anybody else. Americans have been slow to respond to the perps of their loss of homes, jobs, income and optimism for a better future. At least they need to see why it turned out that way.
The real problem isn't in the streets, folks.