L. Gordon Crovitz has a good description of the kids who’ve been lining up to earn pepper-spray-victim status by “occupying Wall Street”:
Some protesters were wryly self-aware, such as the one with the sign, “College Taught Me Nothing (But They Got My Money).” Most were typical left-wing critics of markets, Zionism and people who wear fur—perhaps with an exemption for the fellow demonstrator who along with a fur cap wore a long burlap vest and goggles. A woman drew attention by going topless with “Free Bradley Manning” written on her chest, referring to the Army private accused of leaking intelligence reports to WikiLeaks.
The pastiche protest is becoming a staple of our times. Take one part class warfare, one part anti-Israel venom, and one part environmental hogwash. Add social media and serve. It does make a kind of sense. Westerners have become so accustomed to abundance that even those protesting the Western way of life are unable to choose from an array of gripes. It’s a consumer dilemma. They’re picking the best-known leftist brands without thinking much about it.
The media has been treating the protests mostly as a joke, and with this motley crew it’s easy to see why. But, in truth, the kind of imbecility now on display among oddball protesters is regularly praised by less ignorable figures all the time. Al Gore was vice president of the United States. He once won the American popular vote. He also recently called for an “American Spring, a kind of an American Tahrir Square.” Last I checked, capitalism has served Larry King pretty well. But that didn’t stop him from recommending the anti-capitalist Michael Moore’s “brilliant documentary,” Capitalism, a Love Story, and praising Moore throughout an hour-long promotional interview. And what was former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman doing recently on Bill Maher’s show applauding the loony leftist rants of musician Tom Morello, who once said, “Man, if we really did have a black Marxist as president, that’d be fantastic”?
It’s become impossible to tell where a deluded leftism stops and a respectable liberalism starts. For all the liberal complaining about conservative extremism becoming the norm, today’s liberal media culture earns its daily bread by flattering (or employing) everyone from Al Sharpton to Michael Moore to 9/11 Truthers like rapper Mos Def. Sure enough, on the same recent Bill Maher show that featured Harman and Morello the latter offered support to the Wall Street protestors—and no one laughed. And so liberalism continues its steady transformation into a self-righteous, incoherent, solution-free blur. Take a long, hard look at the fur-capped, begoggled, and topless misfits on Wall Street. They’re funhouse mirror images of our respected liberal elite.