Not a day goes by without further proof that the specious comparisons between Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party are utterly bogus. You may recall that the Tea Partiers were blasted as a threat to democracy because activists used congressional town hall meetings to assail members of Congress about Obamacare, the stimulus and debt. But though some of these confrontations resulted in the politicians being subjected to some pretty rough criticism, at no point did the Tea Partiers ever seek to shut down the meetings or deny the object of their wrath the right to speak. But today in South Carolina, we got another taste of what free speech means to the occupy crowd.
At an event in Charleston, South Carolina, at the USS Yorktown museum where she was to give a foreign policy speech, Rep. Michele Bachmann was shouted down by a crowd of occupy demonstrators and was forced to leave the stage.
Despite the sympathetic depiction of the occupiers in much of the mainstream press as an expression of ordinary Americans’ anger about Wall Street, the tone of these demonstrations is that of a radical leftist movement determined to silence all those who disagree with them. Such actions as the attack on Bachmann are not tangential to the spirit of the occupiers, as its apologists claim, but are the core expression of its anti-democratic spirit. Rather than a manifestation of grass roots America, the thuggery we have seen again and again at occupy events is reminiscent of the radical college protests of the 1960s.
Those who seek to shut down the voices of their opponents in this manner don’t represent 99 percent of America. Their credo is anarchism and nihilism, not democracy.