Robert Ringer is a New York Times No. 1 best-selling author and host of the highly acclaimed "Liberty Education Interview Series," which features interviews with top political, economic and social leaders. His latest book is "The Entrepreneur." To sign up for a free subscription to his pro-liberty, pro-free-market e-letter, A Voice of Sanity, CLICK HERE.More ↓Less ↑
There are at least two conflicting views of the Occupy Wall Street mob(s). One is that the media are overplaying the protests and that they are much to do about nothing. The idea is that the protesters are primarily a bunch of idealistic kids living out their fantasies of the turn-on, tune-in, drop-out crowd of the ’60s.
At the other extreme is the view that the protests are the start of a worldwide left-wing revolution promoted by communists, union Mafiosos and a variety of down-with-the-rich misfits. While I believe that the goofy, confused kids – who can’t seem to coherently explain why they’re protesting – are being used by the heavyweight, behind-the-scenes players who are funding the protests, that’s beside the point.
What’s more important is to understand that these kinds of protests are nothing new. Class warfare has been a fact of life throughout most of modern history. Whether we like it or not, envy fuels a never-ending, contentious relationship between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” It’s always been that way and always will be. The Kumbaya stuff is nice for dreamers who love to twitterpate, but it’s not reality. Human nature is what it is.
Just as the mid-1950s represent the pinnacle of Western civilization, the French Revolution has always served as the gold standard for aspiring left-wing revolutionaries. The Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, which came on the scene nearly 130 years later, is often held up as a model for would-be revolutionaries, but it didn’t have the passion and romanticism of the French Revolution.
The reason those on the far left have always held a special place in their hearts for the Robespierre-inspired guillotine crowd in France is that the riff-raff of that country transformed their angry fantasies into the spilling of blood – lots of it – and did so without mercy or discretion. Even the revolution’s leader, Robespierre, ended up losing his head!
Which brings us back to today and the fleabagger protests. While some may be hesitant to attribute too much power to the nation’s most famous community organizer, the sad truth is that the driving force behind the current movement is none other than Chairman Obama.
In between playing the role of venture capitalist with your money and instructing fellow radical Eric Holder to double down on the Fast and Furious cover-up, he has been stoking the fires of revolution since the day he arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Those who don’t get this are naïve to the core.
At first, of course, BHO was careful to carry out his plans in a stealth manner. But in recent months, as it became clear that he and his fellow radicals in Congress were going down to sweeping defeat in 2012, he began bringing his revolutionary game into the open.
With the clock ticking down on “this progressive moment in history” (credit: Paul Krugman), there’s no time for stealth. No sooner had he finished his “Can we all get along?” speech following the shooting of Gabby Giffords in Tuscon, Ariz., Obama quickly took off the gloves, put on his Che Guevara T-shirt and took aim at capitalism’s jugular.
I have repeatedly warned about a possible trumped-up crisis that could be used to suspend the 2012 elections. Hopefully, it won’t happen, but it would be wise to be on the lookout for it. Those caught in an O’Reilly Naiveté Warp should remember that the mantra of the left has always been, and still is, that the end justifies the means.
The “occupy” protests may seem incoherent to many, because they are lacking in both substance and message. But to a keen observer, the driving force behind the protests is quite clear: envy-based anger. Envy – one of the basest of human traits – is, unfortunately, a dangerous fact of life that will always be with us.
Let’s be very clear here. Envy is not about leveling the playing field, nor is it about helping people lift themselves up. It’s about providing an outlet for one’s hatred. Envy is about inflicting punishment on those who are perceived to be too well off.
The modern-day buzzword for this envy is class warfare (aka plunder), but, regardless of what you call it, it’s been around since the beginning of recorded history. Since there’s no nice way of branding it, the left has long referred to it by the mother of all abstracts, social justice. Sort of like a bottle of snake oil – “good fer what(ever) ails ya.”
Who would be dumb enough to buy into a catchall bromide that has no meaning except that which each individual assigns to it? Answer: Roughly 50 percent of the population! Why? Because it feels so good to hate! Yes, it really is that simple. My detractors call it ranting. I call it acknowledging reality.
Though politicians have been playing the class-warfare game quite openly since at least the early part of the 20th century, the father of modern social justice was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Once FDR managed to get the unconstitutional Social Security Act through Congress, progressives became ever bolder in pushing through additional vote-buying programs that were – and are – equally unconstitutional.
In his 1936 presidential campaign, with the Great Depression getting worse by the day, FDR blatantly focused on creating conflict between the haves and the have-nots. He pounded away at the theme that one-third of the nation was “ill-housed,” “ill-clad,” and “ill-nourished.” And it worked! That’s right, in the midst of the Great Depression – a depression he himself had deepened and prolonged with his big-government policies – FDR beat Alfred Landon in a landslide, carrying every state but Maine and Vermont.
I thought about this last week when Sean Hannity asked Thomas Sowell if he thought Barack Obama could win re-election on a class-warfare platform, to which Sowell, with a concerned look on his face, responded, “Unfortunately, I believe he could.” Sowell, one of the greatest free-market minds on the planet, started out as a communist, so he is all too familiar with how anti-freedom revolutionaries think and operate.
Having said this, Republicans had better wake up. The establishment is maneuvering behind the scenes to put yet another Republican progressive – Mitt Romney – in the White House. The going wisdom is that Romney has the best chance of beating Barack Obama, but those who are focused on only that aspect of the election are ignoring the lessons of history.
What I’m getting at here at is that even if Romney wins, he is likely to put us right back on a George W. Bush track of gradually moving the U.S. to the left, which is what opened the door for the 2008 left-wing takeover of the presidency and the Congress in the first place. The last person freedom lovers should want to see in the White House come January 2013 is Mitt Hoover.
I’m not naïve. I understand that at this point in time it’s impossible for a true defender of individual rights to be elected president, but I’ll settle for someone who will at least make a serious attempt to start repealing socialist legislation now in place and start moving the U.S. to the right.
Several candidates fit that description, and the $64 million question is not whether or not they can survive the Democrats’ smear machine – it’s whether or not they can survive the Republican establishment’s unrelenting efforts to destroy them. And the next in line to be tested on that question is Herman Cain. It will be fascinating to watch how he handles the challenge of being their prime target.