If you’ve not been living under a rock the last few weeks, you’ve heard of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, and probably seen some of their “we are the 99%” photos, which goes to show that liberals love to post angst-filled photos of themselves, but it’s totally not the same thing as last time, we swear.
Rather than respond directly, by pointing out how completely absurd most of these photos’ claims are, someone decided it’d be a good idea to post a “we are the 53%” blog in response, using the percentage of people in this country who actually pay income tax for their title, wherein conservatives who felt left out could also
be narcissistic express themselves.
Now, I never thought I’d link to the Daily Kos with a recommendation that you go read it right now, but, I guess there’s a first time for everything. Mr. Udargo decides to respond to one particular photo posted over at the 53% with an open letter. What I thought was great about it is how nicely it explains the “other side” of the argument that you might not ever hear explained rationally if you’re a conservative. Just don’t read the comments… the crazy gets a little thick there. You’ve been warned.
Now this letter is far from perfect – Udargo is somewhat condescending with the constant use of “kid” to describe the man in the photo, and his tone turns fairly preachy after he says “I probably dream bigger than you,” but you still get the idea clearly – this is the guy’s passion, after all, and we’re all entitled to a little leeway when we get up on a soapbox. He’s also one of those guys that uses two spaces at the end of every sentence, which makes me twitch a little, but I guess no one’s perfect.
What I like about it, though, is that he starts from his premise of “is this really your idea of what life should be like in the greatest country on Earth?” and then explains what exactly he thinks the problem is and how he would address it. A couple of his key concerns even line up nicely with those most conservatives would have:
- “The 8-hour workday and the 40-hour workweek became a standard by which we judged our economic success, and a reality check against which we could verify the American Dream.”
- “[W]hen we defend the American Dream we’re not just defending the idea of modest prosperity for people who put in an honest day’s work, we’re also defending the idea that those who go the extra mile should be rewarded accordingly.”
Sounds good, right? He makes a valid point about the 8 hour day no longer meaning what it used to, and even acknowledges that he wants those who “go the extra mile” to be rewarded for that. Capitalism at its finest, right?
Well, not quite. He also makes very plain his opinions that set him solidly on the left when it comes to the question of government intervention, with statements like these:
- “I want everybody to have healthcare. I want lazy people to have healthcare. I want stupid people to have healthcare. I want drug addicts to have healthcare. I want bums who refuse to work even when given the opportunity to have healthcare. I’m willing to pay for that with my taxes, because I want to live in a society where it doesn’t matter how much of a loser you are, if you need medical care you can get it.”
- “I think Wall Street has an important job to do, I just don’t think they’ve been doing it. And I resent their sense of entitlement – their sense that they are special and deserve to be rewarded extravagantly even when they screw everything up.”
- “All the ‘99%’ wants is for you to remember the role that Wall Street played in creating this mess, and for you to join us in demanding that Wall Street share the pain. They don’t want to share the pain, and they’re spending a lot of money and twisting a lot of arms to foist their share of the pain on the rest of us instead.”
So we have a few of the typical talking points crop up. He starts with healthcare, but doesn’t bother trying to reconcile the ideas of “free healthcare for all” with “how to pay for it,” a mistake that many liberals make and that culminated recently with Obamacare, the atrocity of a bill that is still being taken apart and challenged in the courts. I won’t address that here, but I’ll just state that the ideas of “let’s give everyone free money and benefits” and “let’s make sure everyone is rewarded according to their work” don’t jive.
The rest of his letter places the blame squarely on Wall Street for “messing everything up,” though he doesn’t say exactly how, but it seems like he’s talking about the housing bubble, which was caused by too much government intervention (in the form of the CRA and other such legislation), not too little. The massive amount of debt we racked up with the stimulus? That was the government regulating some more, because it didn’t want you to feel too uncomfortable during an election year. They’re acting like we’re idiots, lying to our faces about what they’re doing – and maybe we are idiots, we keep sucking it up.
It’s typical of the liberal mindset to believe that government is the solution to every problem, even if the government IS the problem. I think my favorite photo so far over at the 99% blog features a woman saying that the government needs to step in and intervene… because she’s paying too much in taxes. The government is by far the largest source of waste and corruption in our country, and it’s been running a Ponzi-esque scheme for years that would make Bernie Madoff blush. Giving them more power and more money is not the answer, and the mere fact that the politicians who’ve been causing the problems keep asking for more of both should be evidence enough of that fact.
What makes it more problematic is that the “Occupy” people aren’t really having any impact on the “big wigs” they hate so much – the ones they’re hurting are the middle class, whose work days they’re interrupting and disrupting, and whose support they claim while simultaneous spitting in their faces and decrying them as fascist supporters of tyranny, all while cheering on speakers like this nutbag who cry for revolution and violence. And yet it never occurs to them is that the only reason they’re able to go out there and protest and communicate they way they do is because of the hard work of the people they hate so much.
So I’m sure you mean well, Max, but this isn’t the answer.