Sometimes individuals are so misinformed and zealous in their demogoguery that it reaches the sublime, or rather, the cartoonish. And that is what we have here with Steve Lonegan,
Americans for Prosperity’s New Jersey state director Koch brothers stooge, and his comments on the group’s planned anti-Occupy Wall Street rally.
“The Occupy Wall Street crowd is nothing but a fringe element of malcontents bent on mayhem and destruction,” said Lonegan. “These are people who despise free enterprise. They are not attacking Wall Street. They are attacking the very freedoms that everyday Americans cherish.”
Steve, shut the fuck up a second so the world can be one person shy of maximum idiot density, if only for a little while.
Have you listened to a word that any of them have said over the last year? Have you really listened? Have you gone down to any of the rallies or assemblies, most especially the earlier ones, in which many of them would have told you that they don’t despise the free market, but only wish that investment banks (like the now extinct Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers) would be more responsible so as to not tank national and world economies? Occupy is merely petitioning the government for redress of grievances, to ensure that the market is truly free and not fixed by the most powerful at the very top. This is as plain as day.
Sure, there are anti-capitalists amongst the Occupy crowd—no one denies that. But those people don’t speak for the entire movement. And we could say that there are anti-free market forces at the very highest levels of capitalism—those who vacuum the country’s wealth into their bank accounts.
I recall speaking to many protesters early on who said they were quite inspired by how advances in technology could act as an equalizing force in the world. How private industry had a very important rule in creating a better world, whether it be in socially-conscious investment or environmental sustainability. They want business to do well, but in the process they want all to do well—not just CEOS and shareholders.
Occupy is not fringe. They are a wide cross-section of America. Occupy’s fringe just makes for a better news story, which is the caricature upon which Lonegan must be basing his argument. And Occupy isn’t attacking American “freedoms,” but asking that we all share in the basic freedoms made possible by the free market. To make sure that in the quest for profit, no one is left in the dust.
This is and has always been a valid concern in the hearts of many Americans. If Lonegan thinks that it is anti-American to hold corporate and financial forces responsible for their action, then he, like many conservatives, hasn’t read his Adam Smith, the right’s free market prophet.
Smith advocated banking regulations; which, if they had been more complete in the last few decades, wouldn’t have gotten us into this incredible mess of a recession. That is not free enterprise, but a rigged casino.
Lonegan, you are a jackass of the highest order.