Some have argued that the Occupy Wall Street protests are simply the left’s version of the Tea Party.
I could not agree more. Only Occupy Wall Street is a kind of bizarro Tea Party.
While the Tea Party represented a relatively peaceful protest against the government, Occupy Wall Street represents the chaos of an unfettered entitlement system run amok.
Where the Tea Party’s message could be succinctly summarized as “smaller government and lower taxes,” Occupy Wall Street seems to be an amorphous hydra – heads grasping in every direction with no common purpose. Ironically, the movement uses the conveniences of capitalism to organize against it.
Where the Tea Party honors and respects the American flag, Occupy Wall Street protestors burn and defecate on it (see the picture above).
Perhaps the only thing both movements share is their raw populist anger.
Occupy Wall Street’s directionless mob continues to hold Woodstock 2011 in cities across the country. The crowd continues to make illogical and inconsistent demands like a guaranteed paycheck coupled with open borders. It uses corporate conveniences like iPhones to organize against the same corporate “overlords” who produced these devices.
But make no mistake, it is a real movement.
However, its values are more epicurean than altruistic. This is a movement fueled by the millennial generation, many of whom internalized the selfishness of their baby boomer parents. For these reasons, I simply cannot take the protests seriously.
In my opinion, the movement will end in violence, or when it starts to get cold, whichever comes first.
That said, a number of websites have sprung up in parody of, or reaction to the movement. These include Occupy Sesame Street and the 53%.
Occupy Sesame Street
In homage to Occupy Wall Street, a movement called Occupy Sesame Street began with a “tweet by Brooklyn-based design studio, Demo. The tweet linked to a photo of Kermit the frog, urging the masses to ‘Skip Class!’ because ‘Radiohead is here dawg!'”. Humor site Tautr.com took the concept to the next level by creating a number of parody photos showing NYPD officers arresting various Sesame Street characters.
We Are the 53%
“Those of us who pay for those of you who whine about all of that… or that…or whatever.”
On a more serious note, another group started a website in response to the Occupy Wall Street movement calling themselves the 53%. They are named for the percentage of the population that actually pays federal income taxes. Filmmaker Mike Wilson, creator of “Michael Moore Hates America“, maintains the page, and he claims the idea came from his friends Erick Erickson of Red State and Josh Trevino.
The movement is largely an online one, because to pay federal income taxes, you actually have to work. That said, the site is worth visiting, because it shows the other side of America that is incensed by people who abdicate personal responsibility, yet demand increasingly more services from the state.
Tea Party vs. Occupy Wall Street in Pictures
Todd Kinsey has a fantastic post today that compares the Tea Party protests with the Occupy Wall Street protests using pictures. The contrast could not be more profound. That said, don’t take my word for it – go see for yourself.