I am not the first to note the vast differences between the Wall Street protesters and the tea partiers. To name three: The tea partiers have jobs, showers and a point.
No one knows what the Wall Street protesters want -- as is typical of mobs. They say they want Obama re-elected, but claim to hate "Wall Street." You know, the same Wall Street that gave its largest campaign donation in history to Obama, who, in turn, bailed out the banks and made Goldman Sachs the fourth branch of government.
This would be like opposing fattening, processed foods, but cheering Michael Moore -- which the protesters also did this week.
But to me, the most striking difference between the tea partiers and the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd -- besides the smell of patchouli -- is how liberal protesters must claim their every gathering is historic and heroic.
They chant: "The world is watching!" "This is how democracy looks!" "We are the ones we've been waiting for!"
At the risk of acknowledging that I am, in fact, "watching," this is most definitely not how democracy looks.
Sally Kohn, a self-identified "community organizer," praised the Wall Street loiterers on CNN's website, comparing the protest to the Boston Tea Party, which she claimed, "helped spark the American Revolution," adding, "and yes, that protest ultimately turned very violent."
First of all, the Boston Tea Party was nothing like tattooed, body–pierced, sunken-chested 19-year-olds getting in fights with the police for fun. Paul Revere's nighttime raid was intended exclusively to protest a new British tea tax. (The Wall Street protesters would be more likely to fight for a new tax than against one.)
Revere made sure to replace a broken lock on one of the ships and severely punished a participant who stole some of the tea for his private use. Samuel Adams defended the raid by saying that all other methods of recourse -- say, voting -- were unavailable.
Our revolution -- the only revolution that led to greater freedom since at least 1688 -- was not the act of a mob.
As specific and limited as it was, however, even the Boston Tea Party was too mob-like to spark anything other than retaliatory British measures. Indeed, it set back the cause of American independence by dispiriting both American and British supporters, such as Edmund Burke.
George Washington disapproved of the destruction of the tea. Benjamin Franklin demanded that the India Tea Co. be reimbursed for it. Considered an embarrassment by many of our founding fathers, the Boston Tea Party was not celebrated for another 50 years.
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