Memo to #OccupyWallStreet: You Are Not the 99 Percent. You Are the Anti-War Left, Co-Opted by Obama

My fellow Americans–and, I suppose, Canadians:

I regret to inform you that you are not the “99 Percent.”

The 99 Percent dislikes big banks, but also dislikes big government–and big messes.

The 99 Percent does not occupy property it does not own, public or private.

The 99 Percent does not steal from local businesses, does not attack police officers, does not storm national museums, and does not defecate in public.


The 99 Percent does not rank people’s views based on their skin color, gender, or socioeconomic status.

The 99 Percent does not repeat, zombie-like, every word it hears out of a leader’s mouth.

The 99 Percent would not deny a veteran civil rights leader and member of Congress the opportunity to speak when he had asked to do so, even if it disagreed with him.

The 99 Percent understands the difference between a mob in the street and our democratic Republic.

The 99 Percent does not belong to a labor union or an anarchist hacker collective.

The 99 Percent does not want to raise taxes, to let the government withhold freedom of the press, to open the nation’s borders to anyone who wants to cross, to deny workers a secret ballot in labor union elections, to spend trillions of additional taxpayer dollars on transportation and the environment, or to forgive all existing debts.

No, you are not the 99 Percent.

We know who you really are.

You are the Democrats.

You are the Working Families Party.

You are the Democratic Socialists of America.

You are Big Labor–the Service Employees International Union, the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, and so on.

You are the institutional radical left–Media Matters for America, ThinkProgress, MoveOn.org, and various other George Soros-funded organizations.

More than anything else, you are the anti-war movement.

That’s why you can gather thousands of Americans–without displaying a single American flag, which you could “could just as easily have burned” (your words).

That’s why you have the support of those Ron Paul fans who are less interested in election than insurrection.

That’s why you are taking marching orders from anarchists like Lisa Fithian.

That’s why you have the drum circles, the hippies, and the joiners who have no idea why they are there.

Many wondered where you, the anti-war movement, had gone for the past few years.

After all, President Barack Obama has done many of the same things that the anti-war movement had complained about when President George W. Bush was in power.

Worse, Obama went to war without the permission of Congress, and has now started targeting and killing American citizens with drone attacks.

And yet you had been strangely, suddenly, and stubbornly silent.

The Obama administration and the institutional left asked you to be quiet, once they had achieved “change” you could believe in.

But they soon realized that they could not survive without you.

Their health care campaign, their war against the rich, their attacks on Republicans over the debt ceiling–all failed without you.

And so Obama, the Democrats, and the unions came back to you–the anarchists, organizers, and online activists of the anti-war brigades.

And they bought your support–cheaply.

President Obama, slow to embrace the protests of the Arab Spring, sprang to embrace your cause.

And yet look carefully at the price you are paying.

While you get arrested, and spend weeks in the open, the Democrats are raising money off your backs.

Your ideals have been reduced to policies that resemble the party platform at the Democratic National Convention.

Do you know what you stand for? Do you know why you are doing this? Did you ever?

My fellow Americans (and somewhat antisemitic Canadians), you are not the 99 Percent.

You are the co-opted.

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