CHARLES C. W. COOKE
National Review Online
November 3, 2011
I hear many names bandied about in Zuccotti Park, and not just at the fringes. Among the most popular are Karl Marx, Hugo Chávez, Michael Moore, Paul Ehrlich, and Dennis Kucinich. But today I heard a less predictable one spoken more widely: Ron Paul.
There are three key reasons for this, I think. The first is a good old marriage of convenience, the same sort of unholy alliance as arose in the early 20th century when Baptists and bootleggers came together to argue for the prohibition of alcohol in America. You see, Ron Paul is angry, too, and he wants to “restore” America to its old ways. The majority of Paul’s policy positions may be radically different, but much of his rhetoric is in line with Occupy Wall Street’s, particularly his anti-Hamiltonian conviction that the banks have callously denatured the United States. For many, this alone is enough to make him an ally.
The protesters I spoke to today were predominantly appalled when I told them of Paul’s attitude towards Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the federal government in general, not to mention of his deregulatory zeal and staunch pro-life commitment. But, ultimately, this didn’t matter as much as the fact that he wants “change,” too. Revolution first, details later — we’ll just leave the specifics to Working Group 48.
The second reason is more specific: the ever-popular “End the Fed” stance, whose advocates are neatly divided into two groups: those who know their subject and the Austrian school inside out, and those who quite honestly have no idea what the Federal Reserve is, but wish to end it anyway. The latter, which vastly outnumbers the former, takes the Groucho Marx position, straight from the “whatever it is, I’m against it” school of politics. To paraphrase a famous follower of another, less amusing, Marx, you can’t make an omelet without breaking Feds.
This article was posted: Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 8:09 am