When Barack Obama proclaimed his intention in 2008 to transform America, most people no doubt believed that he merely wanted to change the unpopular foreign and domestic policies of the Bush Administration. But few have failed to realize now that he intended much more than that. He spent unprecedented trillions with massive deficits and burgeoning debt and courted enemies and abandoned friends abroad.
But there have been other transformations in our body politic, which have been dominating the media. The mobs intimidating citizens in New York City and elsewhere are attempting to accomplish by force what the president has been unable to do by persuasion. Shouting is the natural companion of mob behavior, for a mob is unable to articulate a rational argument.
Evidence is mounting that those of the wealth-confiscating left do not intend to lose power.
Whether that is the president demonizing successful business enterprises for making money or mobs demanding that Obama make good on promises that even members of his own party are abandoning makes no difference. The common denominator is hatred for the American Constitution.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids Congress from making law abridging freedom of speech, or of the press, or preventing the people from assembling peaceably to petition for a redress of grievances. Dissent from government policies and criticism of its leaders is a protected right.
It is one thing, like the Tea Party, to hold rallies, give speeches and employ media to express a viewpoint. It is something very different to "occupy" property for indefinite periods, chant mindless slogans and catch phrases, intimidate citizens on foot or in their automobiles, take no care for personal hygiene, sanitation or self-control, and demand that critics be silenced or even arrested.
The potential for violence was clear. Angry, self-righteous and paranoid people have little patience for legal processes. They look for any excuse for violence, as they did in Oakland when a police tear-gas projectile accidentally struck an Iraqi war veteran, and they began a burning and vandalizing campaign that the Oakland police lacked the manpower to stop.
It is possible that they have gone too far by closing down the Port of Oakland, which employs the very working people the enemies of capitalism profess to care about. Truckers and dockworkers employed there who might have sympathized with the occupiers surely have had their patience exhausted.
There is no point in beating about the bush about the meaning of all this. The political left has suffered a serious blow to its "transforming" ambitions. So the president has stooped to the low tactic of preaching class warfare against the wealthy few who invest heavily in business ventures that generate millions of jobs for their fellow citizens, while young people unemployed (and unemployable) because of his job-killing policies have taken to the streets. What the left could not win at the ballot box last year, and will not win next year, it intends to win by mob rule.
Whenever the left does not get its way, it contends that democracy has been thwarted and begins to bully our elected representatives. That's what the union thugs and public employees resorted to in Wisconsin earlier this year and are doing now in Ohio. The compliant media romanticizes these activities, dominated as they are by the same liberal left which is only a few more years out of many of the same politically correct colleges and universities that a large segment of the public employees and Wall Street occupiers attended.
Mob rule is the very opposite of the republican form of government established by our Constitution. Disrespect for election results is but the prelude to anarchy and ultimately despotism. Once legitimate government loses its authority, the vacuum created cannot be filled by anarchy but rather by force. That is how the Wall Street occupiers, according to the latest reports, are conducting themselves, as the loudest and most audacious step forward and silence critics in their ranks.
The Democratic Party has a history of stealing elections, not only in our largest cities but for decades in the lily-white Democratic South. What it can't steal by fraud, it wins by voter intimidation, as the Black Panthers did in Philadelphia in 2008 and for which the Eric Holder Justice Department refused to prosecute them. The anarchy we are witnessing is but another name for secession, which defines Democrats now as much as it did in 1860. Oppression is next.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Richard Reeb taught political science, philosophy and journalism at Barstow College from 1970 to 2003. He is the author of " Taking Journalism Seriously: 'Objectivity' as a Partisan Cause" (University Press of America, 1999). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.