Are you listening, Van Jones? Precious few moments in America’s story have offered an opportunity like the one we have before us to realign politics and bend the long arc of history toward liberty. Occupy Wall Street activists decry the bank bailouts just as Tea Partyers have since 2009. Fine. If the occupiers really mean it, they should join the fight to finally end not just bailouts to banks, but all forms of corporate welfare.
The mainstream media has failed miserably to convince America that the Occupy protesters are anything like the Tea Partyers. Despite alarmist reporting over the past two years, Tea Party rallies have had no reported clashes with police. There has been no public defecation or masturbation. No Tea Party speakers have claimed that violence is necessary to achieve their goals. No Tea Partyers have suggested “we lop heads off a few white kids” so that people will “fall in line.” Nor have any Tea Partyers sought investigation of “Wall Street Jews.” No Tea Partyers have been arrested for rape, kidnapping or pimping out 16-year-olds for prostitution.
Occupy Wall Street has attracted interesting friends along the way. It garners support from such illustrious groups as the Communist Party USA, American Nazi Party, Socialist Party USA, Marxist Student Union, Black Panthers and the white supremacist group White Revolution. Sympathetic foreigners include Hezbollah, the North Korean government, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (the supreme leader of Iran), the Communist Party of China and Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. American leaders who have expressed support for Occupy Wall Street include President Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke. Wow. Imagine those gatherings.
I’m not claiming that Tea Partyers are perfect angels, mind you. One was once accused of spitting, but then again, video showed that charge to be false. (Still, the same media outlets that refuse to report the current occupiers’ criminal exploits ran breathless headlines of this phony episode for weeks.) Rumor also has it that another Tea Partyer was once accused of failing to fully rewind a VHS rental video in the early 1980s, and yet another was accused of running a yellow light in the late ‘90s, but those are unsubstantiated as well.
The occupiers in Portland sang a catchy song called “F*** the USA,” but, then again, last year the Tea Partyers in Washington had their own chants. At the 2010 Code Red Rally in Washington, which featured Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, actor Jon Voight and myself, the 30,000 Tea Partyers chose the Pledge of Allegiance and later left the grounds chanting, “Pick up the trash. Pick up the trash.” And they did.
Setting aside these minor differences, there actually may be honest common ground between the seemingly diametrically opposed Tea Party and Occupy forces: Government bailouts are wrong. Tea Partyers recognize the destructive nature of the bailouts and conclude that they must end; in fact, all corporate handouts should end. Occupiers also recognize the destructive nature of the bailouts, but - curiously - agitate not for the end of bailouts but instead, that they get their own piece of the action.
If there’s any honesty in the Occupy Wall Street movement, even a shred, I call upon its protesters to join me, to join Tea Partyers, and demand the end of all forms of corporate welfare. No more bailouts. No more subsidies. No more targeted tax breaks, loan guarantees or loopholes. No more stimulus spending, protective tariffs or favoritism. No more waivers. No more allowing the government to pick and choose winners and losers. No more plundering the 99 percent to enrich the well-connected 1 percent.
If we want politicians to quit peddling favors, we have to take away their inventory.
It’s time to end crony capitalism. The occupiers, it seems, have confused crony capitalism with capitalism. One is tyranny. The other is freedom. One is autocracy. The other is the free market. Crony capitalism is to capitalism, as blogger Diana Hsieh says, as sea horses are to horses. America gasps for a return to free-market capitalism. Americans suffer today not because of the free market but because of a lack of access to it.
Van Jones, these words are for you: You are Mr. Obama’s former “green jobs czar.” I am his family member. Both of us respect him. You are an organizing force behind the Occupy Wall Street movement. I am the Tea Partyer within the president’s own family. You’ve spoken to the occupiers nationwide. I, too, have traveled this country and spoken to tens of thousands of Tea Partyers. You can no more speak on behalf of the Occupy Wall Street movement than I can speak for the Tea Party, but then again, each of us can at least speak up. Let’s you and I publicly discuss these movements. Let’s you and I call for the end of all corporate welfare - whether it benefits Republicans or Democrats. Let’s you and I start the conversation that realigns American politics.
Then again, I may be wrong. Perhaps the occupiers don’t truly care about ending the downward trajectory of Bailout America at all. Perhaps they’re simply hypocrites who just want to get their own bailouts before the whole system collapses
It’s in your hands, Van Jones. Debate me and declare that the occupiers should join the Tea Party mission to end all forms of corporate welfare. Or, stay silent and declare loudly that the Occupy Wall Street movement is nothing but a hypocritical blend of two-bit street thugs and behind-the-scenes Marxists. Your call. History awaits.
Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a board-certified diagnostic radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.
Dr. Milton R. Wolf, a Washington Times columnist, is a radiologist and President Obama’s cousin. He blogs at miltonwolf.com.
By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years