Establishment co-opting of a grassroots political movement is nothing new.
Just ask Ron Paul supporters their thoughts on former-Senator Trent Lott’s remarks in 2010 about the Tea Party movement.
While there has been no shortage of commentary and analysis of how various groups and limousine-comfortable celebrities – ranging from left-leaning to radical-far-left in nature – have been rabidly injecting themselves into the Occupy Wall Street movement, the coverage has been missing an important portion of this story.
The leftists are not the only ones active in this expanding scene of protests.
A steadily growing contingent of libertarian protesters has been present all the while. You’re just not hearing about them.
The only ones making mention of them have been libertarian news media figures such as John Stossel and Andrew Napolitano as well as entities led by the Reason Foundation.
With Occupy Wall Street, much like the Tea Party, the libertarians are being widely disregarded by those who blindly seek to disagree with that movement – zeroing-in on the co-opters and making them their focus.
Amidst a sea of so-called 99%-ers holding signs decrying their mounting student-loan debt stand pockets of legitimate activists holding “End the Fed” signs and other displays along that thread. The principle misstep being made by these libertarian and voluntaryist “occupiers” is they’re allowing themselves to blend-in with the kooks.
I appreciate the desire to highlight what ought to be the common thread shared with the left-wing so-called anti-establishment types: the understanding that the unholy marriage of major corporate interests with government regulatory authority is destroying our free market way of life by driving small local competitors out of business through oppressive, ungodly complex rules of operation.
That message is a far cry from the self-described 99%-ers who simply want to exact their pound of flesh from Corporate America. But, messengers for liberty are being largely ignored… unfortunately.
My advice for those who are part of the voluntaryist and libertarian camps in this movement is if you really want to get your views noticed while making a few sphincters tighten in the process, then depart from the corporate offices and march in front of the public institutions that are at the heart of the problem. Migrate away from Wall Street and begin protesting in front of the New York Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
For those in Ohio who are looking to participate locally, don’t bother converging on Columbus. Instead, occupy Cleveland – in front of the city’s branch of the Federal Reserve Bank there (by the way, the Cleveland Fed is located at 1455 E. 6th Street).
Forget about Wall Street: Occupy for Liberty.