Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
Rejoice, those of you who believe that democracy is about making clear and honest choices. Clear steps toward transparency and accountability may have begun.
All pretenses that the hibernating Occupy movement is a self-sustaining, independent primal scream against – well, no one is really sure – are over. Like it or not, Occupy is now being officially fronted by a coalition of organized, disciplined, well-financed progressive advocacy groups proclaiming themselves The 99% Spring . Their announced goal is to unleash 100,000 enraged activists trained in civil disobedience onto America’s streets. The demonstrators will profess to be non-violent, but will inevitably be flanked by others who are not.
It’s going to be a long, hot summer as these shock troops and their fellow travelers seek to extract a bloody price if they don’t get what they want. The good news is that these organizations and the leftist politicians they support will not be able to disavow the actions of the people they draw into the streets once things turn ugly.
The 99% Spring website features a stunning agitprop video, complete with musical accompaniment by none other than Bruce Springsteen. Take a moment to watch the video to see how skillfully they manipulate imagery and emotions. Joseph Goebbels would be proud. Then look at the long list of supporting organizations and the coordinating messages on each sponsoring organization’s website. Here is a partial tally; can you spot the pattern?
MoveOn.org, The Ruckus Society, Progressive Democrats of America, International Brotherhood of the Teamsters, Service Employees International Union, United Auto Workers, AFL-CIO, Greenpeace, United Steel Workers, National Education Association, Communications Workers of America, Rainforest Action Network, American Federation of Teachers, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.
Every one of these groups has now openly declared class warfare, and they intend to fight this war not at the ballot box, but on the streets. MoveOn.org has gone so far as to create a separate group to finance The 99% Spring, MoveOn.org Civic Action, a 501c(4) organization, while the electoral work remains housed in MoveOn’s PAC.
Why are these special interest groups going all-in? Because they understand that our country is approaching a tipping point. Four more years on our current trajectory and there will be no turning back. When an electoral majority owes its daily bread to the government – and doesn’t care where that bread came from – democracy enters a fiscal death spiral. We’ve seen this scenario play out violently in Greece. Spain and Portugal are dangling on the precipice, supported only by temporary bank bailouts. Given the unsustainable size of our country’s unfunded entitlement liabilities and an economy groaning under the weight of growth-killing federal interventions, there is no reason why the same thing can’t happen here.
If America has any second thoughts about saying a final farewell to its roots as a constitutionally limited republic of strictly enumerated powers, this is our last chance. Unless we radically change course we will be irrevocably committing to a future as a European-style social democracy where equality of outcome trumps liberty, redistribution of wealth replaces private property, and entitlements supplant opportunity. And that is precisely what the Occupiers want.
Street action will start slowly as The 99% Spring builds its brand with the mainstream media’s fawning assistance. Look for an emphasis on non-threatening kumbaya imagery as compliant journalists bury some of the movement participants’ wilder statements in favor of paeans to Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Any outbreaks of violence that do occur will either be explained as aberrations that are contrary to the values of the organization, or blamed on outside agitators.
Look for some warm-up exercises in Los Angeles, Boston, Oakland, and New York on May 1, the traditional day of protest for left-wing labor movements worldwide. No one expects trouble, but tensions will be running high.
Next up is Chicago. President Obama has cleverly relocated the scheduled G-8 Summit to his retreat at Camp David, where he can keep disruptions at bay, but the NATO summit scheduled for late May will go on in Chicago as planned. Expect The 99% Spring to be there, along with denials about their responsibility for the broken windows, trashed storefronts, and cat-and-mouse police confrontations. As spring turns into summer, these evasions will begin to wear thin.
The Supreme Court’s anticipated Obamacare ruling will add to the explosive mix. Expect an outpouring of direct action if the ruling doesn’t go the president’s way.
High Noon will arrive at the Democratic and Republican Party national conventions. Attracted by the media swarm, enraged by what is sure to be a massive police presence, and ready to make their closing arguments before the weather turns cool, watch these arguments get made with Molotov cocktails.
I hope I’m wrong and that such a Greek-style calamity doesn’t take root in our country. But if it does, we now all know the return address. http://the99spring.com/  .