I hate to say it, but watching the various YouTube videos of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests and reading accounts of protesters’ goals and “demands” prompts me to shake my head with a resigned “I told you so.”
I’ve been warning this was coming.
Recently, Regnery Publishing released my new book, “Don’t Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid.” In it, I claim that, thanks to the left’s unchecked influence on our young people through our education system, entertainment media and pop culture, our children are being molded into the first generation of American socialists.
Now, almost with the timing of a well-written script, the “Occupiers” have emerged, chanting anti-capitalist slogans and demanding “democracy” in exactly the manner I forecast.
Interviews with young protesters illustrate what my research revealed: They are patently uneducated about our system of government and generally ignorant of political theory and economics. Instead of American civics, they’ve been fed a steady diet of liberal Kool-Aid that has resulted in a well-formed leftist belief system.
As former speaker of the House and current Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich summarized, “I regard the Wall Street protest as a natural outcome of a bad education system, teaching them really dumb ideas.”
But it’s more than that. The left appears to have successfully altered the very character of our youngest generation, such that it’s unlikely we can sustain our republic for want of a citizenry that understands and values it.
In short, we won’t have an America like the one established for us without Americans who exhibit the same character and virtues exemplified by our founders.
Unlike our founders, the Occupiers aren’t demonstrating for their rights as individuals to engage in their personal pursuits of happiness or for religious freedom or for the liberty to make the most good of their talents and treasure.
Instead, they’re demanding the opposite: equality of outcomes irrespective of effort, “economic justice” and the “security” of a bigger, more powerful government fueled by a misguided belief in the inherent virtue of democracy (with a small d).
Worse, because of their ignorance of history, they ironically have been convinced that collectivism is the moral response to corporate and political corruption, as if there won’t be ambition or avarice, apathy or abuse when “the people” are the ones with unbridled power.
Now, after nearly a month of pointless protests, the Occupy Wall Street movement predictably is attracting the unfortunate and the unmotivated: homeless folks looking for free food and young people looking for a rager and an excuse to have exhibitionist sex in a public park (in the spirit of responsibility, organizers are giving out condoms at supply tents), not to mention unionists and political opportunists from every radical leftist interest group with poster board and a marker.
Who’s surprised? A directionless mob that can’t articulate a concrete purpose virtually screams, “Lead me!” As the saying goes, because they don’t know what they stand for, they’ll fall for anything.
Perhaps there is some earnest yearning fanning the flames of outrage among the Occupiers. It’s possible this generation is so in need of a moral compass that it’s simply searching for true north.
Sadly, having been left for so long to the devices of liberals, this generation of would-be revolutionaries mistakes emotion and placards for ideas and ideology. Caught up in their civic circus, they’re fighting to give up the only thing that really matters: their legacy of American liberty.
Surely convincing a generation of young Americans that their very freedom is worth the guarantee of a predetermined “living” wage, forgiveness of a student loan and a lifetime of inferior health insurance must be at least as immoral as buying votes in Congress.
• Marybeth Hicks is the author of “Don’t Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left’s Assault on Our Families, Faith and Freedom.” Find her on the web at https://marybethhicks.com.