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In praise of 300,000 peaceful protesters in 350 locations

In praise of 300,000 peaceful protesters in 350 locations

No, not Occupy Wall Street or Occupy anything.

That was the estimate by Nate Silver (then of 538 blog, now of The NY Times) of the April 15, 2009 Tax Day Tea Parties.  Silver noted the upward adjustment of the Tea Party rally in Atlanta from the 7,000 estimated by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to 15,000:

I promised that I wasn’t going to put much more work into estimating crowd sizes for yesterday’s tea party events, but here is one last update.  The important thing is that we now have a credible estimate for Atlanta at 15,000 persons; we were previously relying on an estimate of 7,000 that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had initially made yesterday evening but then pulled back upon.

Look at the scope of Silver’s calculations, the hundreds of places that drew hundreds and sometimes thousands of attendees, and compare it to the relatively paltry number of locations and crowds at the Occupy rallies.  (My account of the Tea Party rally in Corning, NY, is here.)

In contrast to 15,000 at the Atlanta Tea Party rally, there were a few hundred at the Occupy Atlanta rally, which devolved into one of the weirdest side-shows in the history of American protest, with catatonic collective chanting and a refusal to allow Congressman John Lewis to talk to the crowd.

In contrast to attacks on a national treasure (the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum [see note below]) during the OccupyDC rally, the Tea Parties were peaceful.  For a trip down memory lane, check out the Memeorandum page from April 15, 2009.

Yet the Tea Parties were called an extremist fringe group, while the Occupy protesters are glorified.

Go figure.

[Note added:  Apparently a reporter for the conservative American Spectator was in the crowd that rushed the doors, leading to charges that the incident was the result of a provocation.  In the photo of the reporter published at Firedoglake, he’s seen holding a camera, and no explanation is given as to whether he forced the dozens of others who rushed the door to do so.]


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[…] yes, you read that right about the Tea Party. In a rare moment of lucidity, Ralph Nader has some sensible things to say to those who mocked the […]

I think Tea Party groups across the country need to crystalize their message going into 2012.

Recalibrate the “I’m against the high taxes+ growth of Big Government” message (it’s a mistake to assume that the general market respond to the same lexicon that conservatives do).

I say use the OWS mob’s morally fake ‘We are against corporate greed’ platform to contrast against the Tea Party’s historically credible and morally superior “we are against Government Greed”

I think the Tea Party should emphasize that Crony Capitalism has always been part of the message, and that Big Government Greed and Crony Capitalism Greed are part-and-parcel of the same coin. Therefore, the “pro-Big Government Greed, anti-Corporate Greed” of the OWS slobs (I’ll call them mostly slobs, not mobs, at this point since they have nothing on European riot mobs for now) is incoherent. Big Government Greed always works hand-in-hand with Corporate Lobbyist and Crony Capitalist Greed.

On a separate note, on 9/12/09, I took my family – including my 4-year old son – to the protest … and the Air-and-Space Museum. It was the first rally I ever attended in my life, a nearly spontaneous decision by my wife and I the week before to go.

There were an awful lot of people who did a similar thing. It was overflowing, but a very family friendly crowd, completely peaceable. People paid for their own lunches at the cafeteria and all 😉 The T-shirt slogans where everywhere, but I didn’t see one inappropriate one out of 100s that I saw.

It was a very good time, I contributed to the voice of the Tea Party, and my young son who wants to be an astronaut one day got to see his favorite museum ever 😉

I’m not sure how many leftists even would want to take their 4-year old into the Wisconsin capital at the height of protests their, or some of the illegal immigration/open border rallies that I have seen video of.

    I, too, have noticed (*with one notable exception) that conservative/Republican rallys and gatherings are mostly family-friendly places while similar gatherings of leftists/Democrats are far from.

    I attribute this to the pride with which leftists often eschew traditional standards of behavior. This results in their gatherings frequently being a race to the bottom as each one tries to outdo the other with crude vulgarity in either behavior or signage.

    * the unfortunate exception that comes to my mind are the occasional graphic posters at anti-abortion rallys. I understand the ultimate goal but the apparent need to shock simply for the purpose of shocking is the sort of bahavior more at home among leftists.

Occupy Wall Street, Green energy, Mike Bloomfield, Robert Hunter Biden, $168 million government loan all connected with OWS.

Company that owns Zuccotti “Protester” Park where Occupy Wall Street set up shop just got 168 Million Loan Guarantee from Obama DOE!

NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s long time live in girl friend Diana L. Taylor is on the board of directors for Brookfield Office Properties owner of Zuccotti Park.

Of course the TEA Partiers are going to be vilified by the Liberal-Statist Press. The Liberal Statists are terrified of the TEA Partiers because if true Conservatives come to power, the Liberal Elite and the Statists will be utterly powerless as the Conservatives actually fix the issues created by prior 4 years of a Democrat Controlled Congress and two years of Presidential control.

They will be even MORE powerless than the Liberals were before, because now that Reid has pulled the lever on changing the rules, WHEN the Republicans control the Senate, the Republicans will bash the minority Liberal Democrat Party with the same courtesy Reid showed the Republicans (meaning none). The Conservatives will now be able to ram-rod through the agenda and say to the Liberals who are screaming “We didn’t hear a PEEP out of you when Senator Reid did this, you hypocrites.”

The TEA Partiers represent the largest threat to Statist control with their “freedom” message.

The Occupy Wall Street (et al) crowd represent a giant heard of sheep who want Statist control. They believe that will lead to “fairness” because “those who are performing the work will receive the entire fruits of their labor.” Never mind that they wouldn’t be able to perform the work if somebody else hadn’t developed the product, bought the tools and equipment, financed the raw materials, and made the contract deal with the customer. No, those people don’t deserve to be paid, the ideas “should be free in order to benefit the people of the world” and those who produce the product should be entitled to ALL the payment of their creation.

So long as the Liberal Media can maintain the lie that the OWS crowd are the “little guys representing the masses” rather than a small protest representing a couple of washed up Marxists and some young, dumb skulls full of mush that have been force fed Marxism in poorly run colleges and don’t yet know better, they will do so, because it ‘looks’ like democracy. That’s the lie. Once the truth is widely known of exactly what these individuals want to do, the MSM won’t go near them with a 10 foot pole for fear of being associated with them.


    Well, one quibble: “those who are performing the work will receive the entire fruits of their labor.” That’s the old Left. That’s what Marx believed. The New Left in the US, of which Obama/Reid/Pelosi are all devoted followers, exist to redistribute the wages of the workers to people that don’t work at all (and public employees, but I repeat myself).

    The Democratic Party is far to the Left of Marx.

There are a lot of ordinary Americans who are simply uninformed. They are busy trying to hold onto a job, trying to make mortgage payments and to raise families. This OWS bunch is the best thing ever to come along for Republicans and, specifically, conservative since that unpleasantness of 1861-1865. All we have to do is show pictures of that bunch. I’m not sure who should be the face of that crowd but we all know who should be the butt, that yahoo crapping on the patrol car.

[…] Professor Jacobson points out that despite attracting hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors to hundreds of […]

iamjamessmith | October 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm

So there are thousands of protesters at OWS. I visited them a few nights ago in Liberty Square Park to talk about conscious capitalism with them. There are people who are inibriated with socialism but many more young, respectful, interested students. They know nothing of economics.

Come on CATO, Foundation for Economic Education, Randian Objectivists, and all liberal democracy lovers…here is a crowd that needs help. Unfortunately, many in leadership in these and similar groups hold “normal kids” not on the “libertarian” or “Objectivist” bandwagon in a semi disdain while loving those who are into crony capitalism evidenced by the career choices they make.

I’ve been with all these groups and the “compassionate” conservatives for years and this is a blinder they have on perhaps causing them to miss a huge opportunity here. It is not violent at OWS and passing out some Bastiat, Ayn Rand, von Mises, or Hayek just might find a fruitful home in a heart.

I did it for conscious capitalism and challenge my friends in capitalism to do the same. A moral (educated and virtuous) people is the only kind that will work in our land of self governance.

    Great work. Orgs like CATO don’t specialize in guerilla marketing so its up to individuals like you. Let me know if you’re planning on talking to the kids again. We are creating a series of pamphlets for distribution (through the College Republicans) at Columbia and NYU. Perhaps we could customize a set for your effort.

Workers of the world, unite!

Americans, in progressive numbers are spoiled. Would that they had experienced a progressive totalitarian order first-hand.

There is corruption in the private sector.
There is corruption in the public sector.

If we hope to realize a sustainable correction, it is imperative to first and foremost hold authoritarian interests, funded through involuntary exploitation, accountable for initiating or conspiring to promote progressive corruption of individuals and society.

The corruption of this society has been accelerated through the progressive substitution of totalitarian policies in lieu of conveying moral knowledge. Deferring to a progressive monopoly of wealth and power by authoritarian interests exacerbates the problem and is not the solution.

Sarah Palin Unshackled – Defending the Republic –

[…] who only gets their news from the left, over the weekend at the Occupy Atlanta protests the crowd refused to let Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis speak declaring: “He’s no better than anyone […]