Is anyone following the "Occupy Wall Street" protests and, if they are, taking them seriously? It's hard to imagine that anyone is. Other than echoing President Barack Obama's pseudo-populist attacks on corporations and anyone who has a lot of money its hard to understand what they want.
The best comment so far probably came from ABC's Jimmy Kimmel, who recently aired faux new footage of angry demonstrators chanting "What do we want? We're not really sure! When do we want it? Now!"
It's not clear who is paying for the signs and statutes and giant puppets the protesters are carrying or if anyone is paying to bus them in, but it's hard to believe this is the type of artesian phenomena that some commentators would have you believe it to be. It's also not, as some folks have suggested, a sort of left-wing Tea Party portending a yet another shift in the political winds.
One wonders where these folks come from and, more over, why none of them have to get up and go to work in the morning. Looking at the television most of them seem healthy, reasonably well-dressed (for protesters that is), and able bodied. And smart—if their ability to managing their smart phones and apps and iPads are any indication. So why aren't they working—unless this is what they are getting paid to do.
There are some themes emanating from the protests that may have a larger impact on the political culture—but the hate the rich message doesn't seem to be working. It's not that there are more rich people than poor (unless you go by global standards of living—in which case even the poor in America are rich) as it is that everyone probably wants to be rich. As they get older and acquire the things that most Americans do—a job, a family, a car, a home, some investments for the future—their attitudes about all this change. They might not be able to make it into the top 1 percent—as opposed to the 99 the protesters seems to like to talk about—but they can still shoot for the top 10 percent, the top 20 percent, the top 25 percent or even just the upper half, all of which are nice places to be.
These "children of privilege" demonstrating against the "malefactors of great wealth" are but a pale echo of the '60s-style, Saul Alinsky-trained and influenced protesters whom they seek to emulate. In fact they're really just pawns in Obama's effort to win re-election so that he and the rest of his Wall Street friends (Go ahead—check his campaign contributions from 2008 forward at www.fec.gov—I dare you) can continue to make out like bandits at the expense of the middle class.