Thursday, May 3, 2012

Why The Occupy Wall Street Movement Is a Disaster for the Obama Administration

By Barry Rubin

I want to keep this brief so I’m not going to present a lot of supporting information—I’ll leave that for my next book, Silent Revolution, about how the far left first hijacked liberalism and key institutions, then hijacked America—but I hope you’ll see why the following argument makes sense.

The great advantage of the Obama Administration and the far left has been concealment and deniability. They deny their extremism and sugar-coat their message, helped by the mass media and other institutions ranging from Hollywood through academia. Many sophisticated people--including those who aren't leftist themselves--still believe that Obama is a regular liberal or even a centrist and think the idea that the media and academia are dominated by the far left is ridiculous.

But the Occupy Wall Street movement isn’t this sophisticated “New New Left” but like the Old Left and 1960s' New Left in its rhetoric, methods, and symbols. It openly talks about anarchism, Communism, Marxism, and overthrowing capitalism. Unlike the clever Obamites, these people have learned nothing from the fall of Communism or the failures of the previous two lefts.

Moreover, the Occupy movement is not like previous protests that have won sympathy among Americans like post-World War One veterans seeking the bonuses promised them, or unemployed workers during the Depression, or African-Americans who have been treated as second-class humans seeking equal rights. No, this is an upper middle class movement of the spoiled, seeking more consumer goods and “free stuff” generally. And it views the American people themselves as the enemy, despite the talk of representing the "99 percent."

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The American people are not going to identify with them and no media whitewash will change that fact.
Then there’s the open hatred, the violence and vandalism, the takeover of other’s property, the hygienic and crime issues. True, the media may play all of this down but it’s sort of hard to avoid seeing or hearing about people trashing the downtown neighborhoods of your city.

Such instability and extremism will drive more voters to oppose Obama’s reelection.

Barry Rubin, Israel: An Introduction (Yale University Press) is the first comprehensive book providing a well-rounded introduction to Israel, a definitive account of the nation's past, its often controversial present, and much more. It presents a clear and detailed view of the country’s land, people, history, society, politics, economics, and culture. This book is written for general readers and students who may have little knowledge but even well-informed readers tell us they’ve learned new things.Please click here to purchase your copy and get more information on the book.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His book, Israel: An Introduction, has just been published by Yale University Press. Other recent books include The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center  and of his blog, Rubin Reports. His original articles are published at PJMedia.

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