**Posted by Phineas
You know you want to; it’s so edgy, so sexy, so… progressive. It makes you feel young again, doesn’t it? Takes you back to the 60s or the 80s, when you were going to change the world; when, with enough will and fervor (and Acapulco gold), you could defy reality and turn the world into one large anarcho-socialist nirvana. Free health care, free love, free stuff… You were gonna have it all.
Or, maybe not:
Yet the Occupy Wall Street movement reflects values that are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people—and particularly with swing voters who are largely independent and have been trending away from the president since the debate over health-care reform.
Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn’t represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda.
The vast majority of demonstrators are actually employed, and the proportion of protesters unemployed (15%) is within single digits of the national unemployment rate (9.1%).
What binds a large majority of the protesters together—regardless of age, socioeconomic status or education—is a deep commitment to left-wing policies: opposition to free-market capitalism and support for radical redistribution of wealth, intense regulation of the private sector, and protectionist policies to keep American jobs from going overseas.
Sixty-five percent say that government has a moral responsibility to guarantee all citizens access to affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement—no matter the cost. By a large margin (77%-22%), they support raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, but 58% oppose raising taxes for everybody, with only 36% in favor. And by a close margin, protesters are divided on whether the bank bailouts were necessary (49%) or unnecessary (51%).
Thus Occupy Wall Street is a group of engaged progressives who are disillusioned with the capitalist system and have a distinct activist orientation. Among the general public, by contrast, 41% of Americans self-identify as conservative, 36% as moderate, and only 21% as liberal. That’s why the Obama-Pelosi embrace of the movement could prove catastrophic for their party.
The author, Doug Schoen, is a Democrat pollster who worked for Bill Clinton. Read the whole thing; it sounds like someone on his knees begging a loved one not to do something monumentally stupid.
I, on the other hand, being of the firm belief that Nemesis always follows Hubris, encourage Obama, the Democratic Party, and their Big Labor and MSM allies to hold the Occupy movement close and never let it go. Give in. Live in the now. Do what feels good.
Because this time just has to be different.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)