It's finally happened. An #Occupy protest has started right outside my dorm. I was walking this Saturday to go to get a sandwich when I noticed about ten people holding signs and wearing masks. It only took a few moments for me to realize that this was no ordinary small crowd- this was one of those Occupy Wall Street knock-offs.
On the way back, the tiny gathering of liberals wasn't even there. However, it turns out an actually kind-of-big crowd should up a week earlier. My school's paper reported on it last week.
According to the Occupy Peoria/ Bradley Action Committee Facebook page, the protesters wanted to “spread the Occupy Wall Street movement in a peaceful grassroots method,” and is based on the movement in New York City. The original protesters in New York are fighting against corporations in America, claiming they are running our government, using unmerited practices and placing money over individuals. They called for students across the nation to come together, despite political standpoints, to demand change.
The Bradley students participating in Occupy Peoria focused on similar issues, as well as injustice at Bradley. The Facebook page argues, “Bradley students must overcome the stereotypical apathy that Bradley [University] is known for.”
But perhaps the most egregious misinterpretation of American history displayed by these protesters can be seen the photo above. This is the rabble standing outside of Peoria's courthouse, taking pictures with an Abraham Lincoln statue. I recall Peter Robinson and Larry Arnn talking about how Lincoln actually had a couple of famous speeches in Peoria. Now, call me crazy, but I imagine President Lincoln wouldn't be so quick to smile for the camera if he were alive today.
Although commentators often (correctly) note that liberals reject the principles of our heroes, like the founders and later Lincoln, and instead have an agenda of their own. However, I feel this idea is not expressed enough in today's political arena.
I recently stumbled upon the American Communist Party's website. After reporting them to HUAC, I decided to take a look at what an American Communist party would look like... and towards the beginning of their site's timeline, I found this lovely piece of literature: "The Declaration of Independence from Capitalism."
While using the same formula as the American founders, masquerading as their ideological brothers, they simultaneously reject everything the founders stood for. This line is my favorite:
"We are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... a job, to health care, to education, to privacy, to control our own bodies, to organize and assemble, to be free of racial, national and gender oppression."
Not to compare Nancy Pelosi to Chairman Mao, but is this much different from the Democratic Party's current platform? How hard is it for a Republican politician to get on a stage and say something along the lines of, "the Democrats, including the President, reject the principles that made our nation the most prosperous state in human history?"
I'm as big of a fan of candidates bumping each others plans as the next guy. But even in my youth, I'm willing to bet that a majority of Americans have a deep respect for our Washingtons, Madisons, and Lincolns. And when a voter can see how messed up it is for these OWS statists to align themselves with these figures, said voter will be much more likely to select a conservative candidate as opposed to a technocrat.
Perhaps this approach is naive- judging by the fact that Mike Murphy has a job, I'm assuming this is indeed an unconventional way of looking at things (unless you're one of those, you know, Tea Party hobbit types.)