Paul Jacob

“Rush Limbaugh’s Occupy Wall St. Rant Proves The Protesters Are Winning,” claims Politicususa.com, a blog boasting “Real Liberal Politics — No Corporate Money. No Masters.”

On Friday, Limbaugh had called the Occupy Wall Street protests “laughable.” Moreover, and exactly mirroring accusations on the left regarding the Tea Party and the GOP, he charged that the protests were “not spontaneous,” a mere front for Democrats and the Obama re-election campaign. Specifically, he pointed to support from the country’s biggest and most politically powerful unions.

Regardless of any attempted (or even successful) manipulation by the usual political powers that be, the seething anger and fear — on both right and left (and in-between) — is most assuredly spontaneous and genuine. The protests have now spread beyond Wall Street, across the country. The anger is everywhere. It is boiling against the politicians, who have mismanaged everything they’ve touched (and that’s quite a lot) and also against those in the Wall Street-corporate-government complex who have been bailed out at great expense to the average American, who even now pays more in taxes than did most medieval serfs.

We know, sorta, what the protesters are protesting. Unfortunately, we have to read between some of the lines, since “Wall Street,” and “capitalism” prove tricky to understand, as vague as those words have become — by processes George Orwell warned us about in “Politics and the English Language.”

We cannot know in any official sense what these protests are designed to achieve. When a list of specific demands was posted at the OccupyWallSt.org forum — universal single-payer healthcare, raising the minimum wage to $20 an hour, “fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end,” free college education for all, “re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods,” a trillion dollars spending on infrastructure, another trillion for ecological restoration, and so on — the site was quick to declare, “This is not an official list of demands. . . . There is NO official list of demands.”

The Freeman’s Sheldon Richman is right: “Their agenda is vague, but they at least have the good sense to know that something is awry with the political-economic system we labor under.”


Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.