Wall Street demonstrators are leaving common people behind 

Dear protesters:

You are not 99 percent of America. And you have a marketing problem.

When you decided to sit in traffic and block off the Brooklyn Bridge a few days ago, with that blazing pink “SMASH PATRIARCHY — SMASH CAPITALISM” sign in hand, you probably didn’t see the regular people you stranded in traffic.

You know, the ones with real-world concerns, business to attend to, families to go home to, et cetera. You may have read about such people during college in a book called “The Petit-Bourgeoisie,” or something like that. Many of us grew up calling them “the middle class.”

Whatever you call them, they are hurting badly in this economy, probably more than you are. (I’m just judging by that sweet digital video camera I see you holding out in front of the cops, in hopes of provoking them into a viral-video police brutality incident.)

Those people you left stuck in traffic have a hard time paying their bills and rents and health insurance and mortgages. They worry about things like finding decent schools for their children to attend and making sure they don’t get fired at work, and fixing leaking roofs and chimneys.

You know what they don’t worry about, ever? Smashing patriarchy and capitalism.

So when your organizers go on television and say things like, “It’s revolution, not reform!” and they’re not joking, those words might give some of these narrow-minded people a scary, October 1917 kind of feeling.

I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but these regular people probably weren’t very happy to see you on that bridge, carrying your preprinted black and yellow protest sign that hundreds of you got straight from the communist Workers World Party (or one of its less-frighteningly named affiliates). So incensed was one ground zero construction worker that he called you “[expletive] hippies” in the New York Post.

And that underscores the problem with the more than 100 million people who work for a living in this country. They lack an enlightened perspective that would show them how your camping trip in lower Manhattan has already helped their lives.

See, regular people don’t like banks anymore than you do. But when they go to buy houses for their families to live in, they often find that they don’t have a half-million dollars stuffed in their mattresses.

So they shortsightedly embrace financial imperialism, otherwise known as a mortgage. They also worry about corporations, because they’re big and powerful.

But then, they’d love to own one of those sweet video cameras like yours, and they perceive that they can only buy one if an evil corporation can turn an obscene profit making and selling it.

So the point is, real-life things blind people to the great class struggle you’re waging in Lower Manhattan. You, and the rest of America’s three-tenths of 1 percent.

Columnist David Freddoso is The Washington Examiner online opinion editor.

About The Author

David Freddoso

Bio:
David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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