They make it SO easy for the rest of us.
They show up and protest. This is good. We cherish having the right to protest. We love when anyone exercises this right.
But with the Occupy crowd, things started getting a bit rough around the edges.
The areas they occupied started getting a bit dirty. Then VERY dirty.
Local retailers and residents were put upon. In some areas VERY put upon.
Then we heard some of the protesters were stealing from each other. Ouch!
Then came violating city ordinances.
Arrests. Then massive arrests.
The protesters were (and are) sending us a message. Do you hear it? It's very loud and clear:
We don't know how to handle ourselves in a civil way.
But I continued to pay attention. I wanted to know what they wanted.
Some were protesting against "the rich." Not quite sure how that thinking process goes, but I get there are some who just hate the fact that someone else is rich. Maybe they hate the fact that anyone is rich. Hmm, what if one of the protesters stumbled into being rich? How intense would that hatred be?
But I digress.
Some were outraged with what was done to them by "Wall Street." That's an interesting focus of their anger. As if "Wall Street" and everybody there is a bad hat.
True enough, there are some very bad apples on Wall Street but there were (and are) some very bad apples in Congress that TOGETHER caused (and are causing) a great deal of destruction to our economy.
Where's the hue and cry against those folks?
But I'm digressing again.
What did the protesters want? I listened and listened and then I finally figured it out. There was a common denominator running through the various shouts and cries from the protesters. And here it is:
They want to be given something.
The attitude seems clear:
"Give me something. Give me a lot actually. And give it to me now, damn it!"
"Give me free education."
"Give me free food stamps."
"Give me free medicine and free health care."
"Forgive me of my student loans." (notice "give" is inside the word "forgive")
"Give me unemployment pay. Not just for a few months while I get it together, give it to me for years."
"Give me a great pension and don't you dare make me contribute too much to it!"
"Give me a break on my mortgage. Give me a better mortgage. Damn it, just give me a house I can live in."
"Give me the best tax break you got, namely NO taxes. Get what you need from those rich folks who never pay their fair share."
"Oh, one last thing. If you keep giving me things, I'll give you my vote. But you already knew that, didn't you?"
Anyway, you get the point. Yes, some of that was exaggerated, but this is my blog, and I have the right to protest, too. Right?
So, I say to the Occupy Wall Street folks, bring it!
Please, keep protesting!
With every passing day, you're making it easier and easier for folks (who are not showing up at your protests) to understand who you are, what you represent and what you want.
And guess what?
The majority of us out here don't want to be given something. We like the idea of working hard and smart and getting rewarded big time for our efforts.
We don't want a government in virtually every part of our lives, making more and more decisions for us BUT at the same time dangling tons of freebies so that we'll let them make more and more of these decisions for us.
Hey there, Occupy Wall Streeters! You're making it so easy on the rest of us to hit those polls even harder next November.
Keep on protesting…please!