Interviewed in Rolling Stone’s upcoming issue, titled perhaps a little too appropriately “Ready For The Fight,” President Barack Obama lauds the occupy movement.
RS: Occupy Wall Street seems to have influenced your rhetoric. Has it had a deeper impact on your thinking about America?
OBAMA: You know, I think that Occupy Wall Street was just one vivid expression of a broader anxiety that has been around in the United States for at least a decade or more. People have a sense the game is rigged, so just a few people can do well, and everybody else is left to scramble to get by.
The free market is the greatest generator of wealth in history. I’m a firm believer in the free market, and the capacity of Americans to start a business, pursue their dreams and strike it rich. But when you look at the history of how we became an economic superpower, that rugged individualism and private-sector dynamism was always coupled with government creating a platform so that everybody could succeed, so that consumers weren’t taken advantage of, so that the byproducts of capitalism, like pollution or worker injuries, were regulated. Creating that social safety net has not made us weaker – it’s made us stronger. It liberated people to say, “I can move to another state, but if I don’t find a job right away, my kids aren’t going to go hungry. I can start a business, but if it doesn’t work out, I’m going to be able to land on my feet.” Making those kinds of commitments to each other – to create safety nets, to invest in infrastructure and schools and basic research – is just like our collective investment in national security or fire departments or police. It has facilitated the kind of risk-taking that has made our economy so dynamic. This is what it means for us to live in a thriving, modern democracy.
One of the major arguments we’ll be having in this election season is a contrasting vision that says not just that government is part of the problem, but essentially that government is the entire problem. These guys, they don’t just want to roll back the New Deal – in some cases, they want to go back even further.
Look up “banal” in the dictionary and you might see a definition resembling Obama’s remarks. “Inaccurate” and “socialist” fit too.
However. Should Americans be concerned that the occupy movement might continue influencing Obama’s rhetoric? When its speakers advocate wholesale vigilante murder? This is from Tuesday’s Occupy Justice rally at the DoJ.
SPEAKER: I feel a certain type of way about marches and rallies and I question the effectiveness of it. I do a lot of political work in Washington D.C. and as you all know this type of work is dangerous work to be doing. I would just ask – If I ever got locked-up, incarcerated – please don’t march for me. Please don’t do no rallies for me. I want ya’ll to start killing mother f–kers.
You see, it’s funny, but that’s the only thing our government will listen to.
God bless ‘em! But what sort of fight are Democrats aligned with occupy really getting ready for?