Part I: The Right Wing Playbook On Occupy Wall Street
This is the first part of our five-part series on right-wing attacks against Occupy Wall Street.
In July, the magazine Adbusters called on readers to set up camp on Wall Street and push for “one simple demand – a presidential commission to separate money from politics,” and the Radical Right has been attacking Occupy Wall Street ever since. The economic justice movement has brought attention to not only the issue of the massive influx of corporate money in politics but also the country’s exacerbating income inequality and the continued lack of accountability and oversight on Wall Street.
The overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the enormous corporate influence over our political system, have lost confidence in the banking industry, support Wall Street regulations and believe that income inequality is a major problem.
Naturally, the Right sees Occupy Wall Street as a threat not just to their political standing but also their financial interests, and right-wing politicians and media outlets are doing all they can to dismiss and demonize Occupy Wall Street. The right has charged the movement with attempting to spark a violent revolution, dismissed the protesters as non-ideological, lazy whiners…who happen to be anti-Semitic Communists, and even claimed that the movement is anti-Christian.
Strategy One: Paint Occupy Wall Street As A Violent Revolution
After trumpeting and funding tea party protests for over a year, the Radical Right has suddenly lost its appetite for public demonstrations. Many of the advocates who vocally supported the tea party movement now claim that rallies are breeding grounds for violence.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, used his platform at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit to blast Occupy Wall Street as “growing mobs” that are based around “the pitting of Americans against Americans.” Glenn Beck told the Summit that “the violent left is coming to our streets, all of our streets, to smash, to tear down, to kill, to bankrupt, to destroy; it will be global in its nature and global in its scope.” Later that week, the Family Research Council asked members to pray, “May God prevent these radical organizers from stirring revolution.”
Gary Bauer, the prominent Religious Right leader who helps lead the groups American Values and the Emergency Committee for Israel, said that Jared Loughner, who killed six people in his attempted assassination of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, “would fit in well with the Occupy Wall Street movement.” Another Religious Right leader, televangelist Pat Robertson, claimed that President Obama’s positive comments about Occupy Wall Street amounted to putting “the match to the kindling,” and accused the President of “inciting people to revolt.”
Cliff Kincaid of the conservative group Accuracy In Media denounced Occupy Wall Street for promoting “lawlessness and anarchy” and Andrew Breitbart warned that “their desire is once it becomes a large enough group of people, then they will start fomenting the radicalism and the revolution” and said their tactics are “very evocative of the communist era.”
Fox News, unsurprisingly, is also warning that the economic justice movement is involved in violence. Fox’s Greg Gutfeld flatly called the movement “violent,” Charlie Gasparino said the protesters are “anti-American” and “increasingly violent” and Fox News contributor Liz Trotta said that Occupy Wall Street includes “the ravings of what sounds like the Unabomber.” Far-right activist and columnist Star Parker claimed in a Fox News that the movement could “end up in riots.” Fox News most notoriously labeled the deranged White House attacker the “Occupy Shooter.”
Conservative columnist Alan Caruba warned, in a blog post promoted by Tea Party Nation, “Appeals to freedom of speech have their limits when it comes to efforts to undermine and destroy the nation.” Caruba charged:
You don’t solve unemployment by embracing tyranny.
Further back in history, one recalls the mobs that brought down the Weimar Republic in Germany and opened the doors to the Nazi movement. Earlier, mobs led by Bolsheviks deposed the Russian czar and imposed some seventy years of Communist control there. It is not surprising, therefore, that so many communist organizations and nations support the Occupy movement or that Wall Street is its target.
In time we shall learn who the organizers of this “spontaneous” movement truly have been, but for now public safety must be asserted to rid Zuccotti Park of this gang of “useful idiots” and wherever else they show up.