What happens to a U.S. President when he aligns himself with civil unrest? Barack Obama’s pledge to the occupy protesters that he is “on their side” is – to use the President’s word of choice to describe himself – “unprecedented.” Where this association takes him and his fellow Democrats will be very interesting to watch.
American history is replete with corruption and legally questionable behavior at the White House, much of which pre-dates those of us who are alive today. President Andrew Jackson, for example, was caught transferring taxpayer money out of federal coffers and “investing” it into private banks that were owned by his campaign donors.
President James Buchanan was known to have “sold” positions in his Administration before he was even elected. Years later after President Buchanan had negotiated an opportunity to buy the island of Cuba, Congress refused to appropriate funds for the purchase because they didn’t trust the President to handle the money properly.
Thus, the Obama scandals are not “unprecedented.” The President’s selfish waste of American taxpayer dollars to the now-bankrupt MF Global Holdings Corporation with former Governor John Corzine, the now-bankrupt Solyndra green energy Corporation, and former Vice President Al Gore’s Finland-base electric car company, fit right in with the corrupt behavior of many of our past Presidents who controlled to much of our public assets.
What is different about President Barack Obama is his proactive effort to publicly and intentionally align himself with a scandal that, so far as we can tell, has emerged from outside of the White House. And the occupy movement is indeed “scandalous” in as much as it is antithetical to our Constitutional system of governance, and our free market economic system.
Ask any occupy protesters you meet, and you’ll likely hear the usual talking points: “We’re the 99% and we need to let our voices be heard;” “The government only represents the top 1% and ignores the rest of us.” The rhetoric is designed to create a sense of victimization, and to a certain point, it is effective.
But then ask your local occupy protester some very basic questions about our representative government and you’ll likely find that the discussion falls apart. Simple questions, like “who has been elected to represent you in your state legislature?,” or “Who is the Mayor of your city?,” or “Who are your U.S. Senators?” will likely take the conversation over a cliff. And if naming their elected officials isn’t sufficiently challenging, try asking your occupy protester “How does legislation get created?,” and then prepare for a very dismissive, if not angry response.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.