Tea Partiers are used to being called anti-government. When we stood opposed to President Obama’s state-run healthcare law, we were labeled “anti-government.” When we called upon Congress to risk a 2011 shut down in pursuit of real budget cuts, we were marked “anti-government.” When we refused to raise the debt ceiling without systematic fixes to the budget process, we were branded “anti-government.” Even now, as we stand in contrast to the genuine anarchists and violent revolutionaries rallying under the militaristic term “occupy,” it is we who remain “anti-government.”
Try this on for size. In some respects, we need more government. Public servants nationwide must assert their rightful authority to end Occupy Wall Street.
You read correctly. Spare us any hubbub about the constitutional freedoms of speech, assembly, or association. Occupy Wall Street rests upon none of them. In fact, the increasingly debauched and openly violent protest movement stands in opposition to the First Amendment and every freedom it protects.
Individual Occupiers almost escape blame. They are the inevitable byproduct of the ongoing degradation of critical thought. As a culture, we have long conflated the notions of civil disobedience, vandalism, and trespass with the right to petition government for a redress of grievances. Somehow, the freedom of speech became the promise of an audience. The freedom of assembly became an entitlement to a venue. And freedom of association became license to wreck businesses, stop traffic, and assault anyone who gets in the way.
Examples are now so prolific that the point is beyond argument. “Occupy” is the right word, conveying the precise intent, to employ force in pursuit of political change. These are terrorists.
Yet, there is a fundamental point regarding how the movement got here which requires looking at a relatively peaceful protest to demonstrate. The small number of protesters occupying the Hennepin County Government Center plaza in Minneapolis have been kind enough to refrain from rape. Nevertheless, security and management of their presence has cost the county more than $150,000. Ungrateful and unsatisfied, Occupiers at a meeting of the county board last week demanded provisions to keep them warm at night. Guess how the claim was justified? Freedom of speech.
Indeed, why shouldn’t Occupiers feel entitled to blankets and heaters? The county has already provided a canopy to keep them dry among other indulgence at taxpayer expense. In so doing, Hennepin County joins the likes of New York City and Oakland, California, in affirming the Occupiers’ claim to entitlement.