Conservatives Support Protests

Conservative Groups Support Protests

Last month, I called on conservative groups to endorse the Occupy Wall Street protests:

It is time for some big conservative endorsements, to rally around the non-partisan issues important to all Americans.

The Tea Party should endorse the protests, but so should the Oath Keepers, taxpayer rights groups, conservative Christians, limited government groups, and all other conservative groups.

Yesterday, the Oath Keepers and a founding member of the Tea Party announced that they are supporting the protests:

Oath Keepers sees good reason to stand in the streets with these awakening souls and protect their right to free speech, to peacefully assemble, and to redress their grievances to their government, as the Constitution prescribes for all Americans. That is one thing. Another facet of our initiative is to use these public gatherings to reach and teach many who now hunger for the truth – we can show them how the Constitution will protect them better than an oversized, bloated Federal behemoth hell-bent on controlling every aspect of each citizen’s life.

To point this out to the masses, Oath Keepers is organizing a joint effort along with Alex Jones of Infowars dot com (who himself called for an Occupy the Fed movement); Steven Vincent of End The Fed; Danny Panzella’s Truth Squad TV; Brandon Smith of Alt-Mkt.com; Gary Franch of Restore The Republic; and others as quickly as we can contact them. Remember Bob Dwyer, the guy who started the first Tea Party to launch the Ron Paul revolution? He’s in. The forces of Constitutional rule of law must muster now to deflect the bile being belched forth by the socialist/statist extremists …. Oath Keepers has the message American youth need. If we do not go out into the street and give them the truth, can we really say we’re still honoring our Oath?

Common Ground Between Conservatives and Liberals

As I’ve previously noted, both liberals and conservatives hate corporate socialism (where the federal government favors giant corporations at the expense of the little guy) . The Oathkeepers announcement zeroes in on this issue in a way that both conservatives and liberals can agree on:

When a corporation becomes larger than is useful, and seeks to concentrate financial power into the political and governmental spheres, its likeness is no longer the King Snake, but instead is more like a Rattlesnake. At a point we call such corps “Monopoly Capitalists”. By the time a grouping of such Monopoly Capitalist corps are setting U.S. foreign policy, which the arms industry certainly does nowadays, the problem becomes unbearably apparent. Bechtel comes to mind, along with Halliburton, the Carlyle Group, Monsanto, General Electric, et al.

That part of Wall Street is certainly to blame. But that is not “Capitalism”. Instead, it is “Monopoly Capitalism”, and it is now observably moving America into a new world order with intent to place America under the alleged authority of a one-world government. As such, Monopoly Capitalism is un-Constitutional and must be opposed.

Karl Denninger – one of the founders of the Tea Party – supports the protests (even if he doesn’t agree with some of the positions taken by some of the protesters) Denninger posted the following letter today:

You know what the “Occupy Wall Street” movement is?

It is all the things that were in the original Tea Party, but were steadily ignored as the TP became a Republican booster club.

The Tea Party is a contradiction. They want a balanced budget, but they also want the US military to intervene everywhere …. Individual rights are important too, but don’t push it too far. After all, republicans came up with today’s policies.

There are a few nuts in the OWS crowd, but from what I hear “Occupy Wall Street” is about bringing the fraudsters to justice. Its about changing the banker/government dynamic that runs this country. It’s about free markets. It’s about ending endless debt. It’s about stopping the wars. It’s about the rule of law. It’s about the libertarian soul of America.

Since the TP lost the focus of addressing the root problems of America, they remain unresolved.

***

Pete Blome
Chair, Libertarian Party of Okaloosa County

Michael Moore Doesn’t Speak for the Protest

While Michael Moore says that capitalism itself is the problem, Mr. Moore is wrong. Indeed, one of the main organizers of the protests told me that Moore’s statement is very counter-productive.

As I’ve previously noted:

When Mahatma Gandhi was asked what he thought about Western civilization, he answered:

I think it would be a good idea.

I feel the same way about free market capitalism.

It would be a good idea, but it is not what we have now. Instead, we have either socialism, fascism or a type of looting.

If people want to criticize capitalism and propose an alternative, that is fine . . . but only if they understand what free market capitalism is and acknowledge that America has not practiced free market capitalism for some time.

***

People pointing to the Western economies and saying that capitalism doesn’t work is as incorrect as pointing to Stalin’s murder of millions of innocent people and blaming it on socialism. Without the government’s creation of the too big to fail banks, Fed’s intervention in interest rates and the markets, government-created moral hazard emboldening casino-style speculation, corruption of government officials, creation of a system of government-sponsored rating agencies which had at its core a model of bribery, and other government-induced distortions of the free market, things wouldn’t have gotten nearly as bad.

As Justice Louis Brandeis said:

In a government of laws, the existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, the omnipotent teacher. For good or ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. If government becomes a lawbreaker it breeds contempt for law: it invites every man to become a law unto himself. It invites anarchy.

[Confirmed here.]

If there has been lawlessness and corruption among Wall Street players, it was partially simply modeling the lawlessness and corruption of the Executive Branch and Congress members. I’ve written elsewhere about how the government lied by saying Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and was behind 9/11 (when he didn’t and wasn’t), that we don’t torture (when we did), that we don’t spy on Americans (when we did), etc. Just like kids model what their parents do as well as what they say, Wall Street modeled the unlawful and corrupt actions of our government employees.

Being against capitalism because of the mess we’ve gotten in would be like Gandhi saying that he is against Western civilization because of the way the British behaved towards India.

Corrupt Politicians Enable Wall Street Corruption

The Oathkeepers and conservative alternative media powerhouse Alex Jones also zero in on the Federal Reserve system as a core problem. As Oath Keepers notes in its announcement:

Oath Keepers is planning to “Occupy The Fed Now!” and publicize this to remind the Occupy Wall Street people that the Fed is the source problem, without which the Wall Street criminals would be set back a hundred years. I will be posting our press release and a longer list of groups and orgs who will be joining Oath Keepers in this initiative.

We are currently drawing up our press release regarding our own response to the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon, which will be Oath Keepers’ official statement. We are now planning an official Oath Keepers project which we’ve named “Occupy The Fed Now!”.

Yes, Oath Keepers has seen the need to block the attempted takeover of the populist movement generally referred to as Occupy Wall Street.

In an extensive phone conference on the evening of October 04, 2011, we heard from Oath Keepers who have attended Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Boston, Occupy Los Angeles, and Occupy Seattle. The overall consensus from our people at these rallies is that most people attending the rallies are very open-minded to the Oath Keepers mission/message, and that they are hungry for answers. Indeed, our reports indicate that many Americans right now are awakening, in droves it seems, and they are full of questions for which we have the answer – the Constitution for the united States of America.

While progressives might assume that the Fed has helped the economy from getting worse, or that the importance of ending the Fed is being overhyped, top economists and financial experts disagree. See this, this and this.

As I pointed out Monday, whatever people think the government should do, the D.C. politicos have actually been a large part of the problem:

Because government policy is ensuring high unemployment, it is not surprising that the American protesters are angry at the Federal Reserve and other government institutions, and not just the big Wall Street banks.

Remember, Bush and Obama’s economic policies are virtually indistinguishable. Indeed, Obama actually likes high unemployment.

And as I noted in 2009, the government created the giant banks:

As MIT economics professor and former IMF chief economist Simon Johnson points out today, the official White House position is that:

(1) The government created the mega-giants, and they are not the product of free market competition

(2) The White House needs to “regulate and oversee them”, even though it is clear that the government has no real plans to regulate or oversee the banking behemoths

(3) Giant banks are good for the economy

Of course, the government has also made it policy to cover up fraud and protect the fraudsters, and so the free market has no chance to punish fraud or cleanse wrongdoing from the system.

Without government-created moral hazard emboldening casino-style speculation, corruption of government officials, creation of a system of government-sponsored rating agencies which had at its core a model of bribery, and other government-induced distortions of the free market, things wouldn’t have gotten nearly so bad.

Indeed, the government is so corrupt that the head of the economics department at George Mason University says that D.C. politicians are worse than prostitutes … they are “pimps”, since they are pimping out the American people to the financial giants.

And while co-option of government by the big banks is a huge problem, it is also true that corruption in government leads to corruption in the private sector. See this and this. The U.S. has truly become a banana republic, just like the worst Latin American countries.

So anyone who thinks that government would solve all of our problems if it were only freed from obstructionists is only seeing half the problem, and is falling for the oldest trick in the book … the ole’ divide and conquer strategy.

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  • Anthony

    What we are seeing is the birth of Progressive Era II, which is not surprising since the Baby Boomers created Gilded Age II. The Progressives always were split between two basic ideas: the New Freedom of Woodrow Wilson, which emphasized the way “monopoly capitalism” took capital away from ordinary Americans and made it harder for them to become capitalists in their local communities, and the “New Nationalism” of Theodore Roosevelt, which accepted corporations as inevitable but tried to rein them in building a government regulatory structure capable of counteracting them in the public interest. The Oath Keepers stand in the Wilsonian tradition, but we will see reincarnations of both positions before this is over. It’s been interesting to see right-wing figures like Jonah Goldberg and Glenn Beck demonize the Progressives in recent years. They seem to intimate what is coming. However, I predict their efforts to head it off will prove utterly futile.

  • Bill Bergman

    Well done thinking about common ground, GW. People have a lot to learn from each other.

  • Archie

    I guess I’m a little confused about this:

    Oath Keepers notes that certain forces (socialists and Marxists) are attempting to co-opt their awakening by pointing a finger at Wall Street and using the very real and well documented corruption there, which is certainly obvious to all, to attack “capitalism”. They are using the sins of corporatism, a.ka. crony capitalism, to attach the ideal of a free market and economic freedom in general, in order to persuade our youth that socialism (a soft form of communism) is to be preferred over the madhouse tactics of berserk corporate America, or, “Wall Street”. They are presenting them a false choice between fascism (which is the proper name for a marriage between big government and big business) and Marxism, while totally ignoring the free market and sound money that our Constitutional Republic is supposed to have.

    and this:

    Oath Keepers is planning to “Occupy The Fed Now!” and publicize this to remind the Occupy Wall Street people that the Fed is the source problem, without which the Wall Street criminals would be set back a hundred years.

    It seems to me that Oath Keepers is looking to co-opt the movement for themselves. And while I certainly agree with OKs position on the FED, their method of conveying that message may not go over that well. Indeed, it might just come across as disingenuous, condescending and judgmental.

    My 29 year old son has been to several rallies in lower Manhattan and is totally energized by the atmosphere of freedom of speech and the notion of what participatory democracy might be like. People are confused, scared, and angry. They have lost trust in virtually all aspects of our current society and are trying to figure out what to do about it. They are suspicious of EVERY ideology and EVERY political stripe. I really think that OWS is more akin to a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Be-In"<Sixties "Be-In", less the drugs of course.

    • MM

      “It seems to me that Oath Keepers is looking to co-opt the movement for themselves.”

      If OWS is really just a move towards socialism than you are correct. If it is a movement towards ridding our current system of corruption and returning to the principles our founding fathers set up (the republic) than there is nothing to fear.

      • Archie

        I only think that OWS is a “movement” towards establishing an egalitarian society. Constitutions, manifestos, etc. are irrelevant just as they were in the “Arab Spring” events. There is no tweaking the status quo when they are the 99% and are ignored.

  • Jeff

    Oathkeepers is almost 100% correct in regards to the quotes in this article. Government exists, coincidentally but not in design or purpose, to be hijacked by private, monied interests. This is nothing new and has been demonstrated persistently throughout history without even a single deviation.

    The more centralized and powerful the government, the more efficiently private interests can lobby and achieve their agendas. The only way to provide a path to some relief from this is to decentralize government and reduce its power. Notably, the Constitution contains a list of enumerated powers of Congress in Article 1, Section 8, and the 10th Amendment provides the exclamation point that the framers desired in order to emphasize the intent that the federal government would be limited in scope and power. All of the “general Welfare clause” and “necessary and proper clause” arguments for broad powers were, and remain, utter bullshit fed to the masses. A little study of the ratification debates and Federalist Papers will reveal the scam quite easily.

    The federal government must be reigned in back to the scope as intended, or nothing will change. You can get an honest President (fat chance), but still there are 100 Senators and 435 Representatives, who write the laws, not to mention the bureaucrats and czars who write the regulations. There are some honest (yet naive) Representatives and perhaps, Senators, but what are the odds we’d ever see a majority of them serve the interests of the people? Naught! Once they go to Washington and become enthralled in the free operas, steak dinners and big fund raisers, they have a whole new set of friends, and the old friends (the broke ones who could only give their votes and endorsements) simply do not serve their purposes anymore. They forget quickly from whence they came.

    For those on the liberal side who believe government has a proper and significant role in social policy (for which I am one), these policy-setting powers should be conducted as closely to the state and local (local preferred) levels as possible. This creates a plethora of governments to set various policies which may more likely be attuned to local interests. This plethora of governments erodes the efficiency of lobbying (try lobbying 7,000 legislators at the state level, as opposed to 535 at the federal level). It more closely matches TRUE democracy, as opposed to representative democracy. It shifts the importance of news reporting on policy from the national level to the state level, where the people can be better informed and more in control of their representatives (it is hard to change policy in Texas, for example, when Representatives from 49 other states butt their noses in).

    Restoring Constitutional balance is the only way to go. It doesn’t necessarily lead to small government. It leads only to small FEDERAL government. State and local governments can Constitutionally be pretty much as large or small as their constituents want them to be.

    Let’s none of us miss the fact that LIBERALS are the ones who founded this nation by breaking the tradition of monarchy and centralized power and expressly designing the Constitution to prevent centralization of power. The Constitution PROMOTES a liberal agenda. Its purpose was to reduce the risk that private, monied interests could co-opt the government by taking the efficiency OUT of centralization and leaving the bulk of governing to the states and local governments.

    James Madison (a GREAT LIBERAL): “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” Heck, this guy DRAFTED the Constitution. You’d think he ought to know. Don’t fall for the corrupt, centralists’ bullshit about “necessary and proper” and “general Welfare.” That’s all non-sense. Study the framers by reading the Constitution, learning what was said in the ratification debates and gleaning information from the Federalist Papers.

    Good luck!

  • davidgmills

    @Washington: I think you have cause and effect backwards. I think it was money that put corrupt politicians in power who then set up the moral framework that led to the lawlessness of corporations and banks.

    @Jeff: Way to much is made of the Federalist Papers and the intent of the framers. Intent as a legal concept is only useful as a tool in determining why a law was passed. That makes some legal sense with statutes because you can actually look at why Congress or a legislature voted for a law. But it makes far less legal sense when the law is passed by the public at large, as was the Constitution, and as were the state constitutions, and all referenda.

    I doubt seriously when the public was voting to ratify the Constitution, they thought that promoting the general welfare meant anything other than promoting the overall welfare of the people (after all the preamble begins with “We the People”). That some founding fathers had some notion that promoting the general welfare meant promoting the government, probably was just founding fathers trying to get their opinions into a formal record perhaps to sway judges. But I think it is nuts to think that the populace who voted for the Constitution thought that promoting the general welfare meant anything like promoting the government.

 

 

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