Act One: Occupy Wall St.
Occupy Wall St. began in September 2011, as a public protest against Wall St. and the taxpayer-funded bailouts for banks and corporations that took literally TRILLIONS out of the US economy. People of all kinds of demographics and backgrounds assembled in front of Wall St. to express their anger that they must be penalized for the sins of the elite, and that those same individuals got to keep their ill-gotten gains, at the expense of people who were responsible, paid their bills and took the fall for something they had no involvement in whatsoever.
It was a backlash against the financial system, political system and apparent caste system in America, where the working class has to pay the cost of doing business, while the elite get to privatize their record profits and socialize their losses on the backs of the people. Just like another similar movement that predated the Occupy movement a slogan that became its rallying cry invited its undoing. “We are the 99%!” This intends to shift the focus of the blame on the elites responsible, but quickly, faster than you can make your head spin, this slogan was turned on its head to not just go after the guilty, but go after capitalism itself, while alibi-ing the crony capitalism that led America down this particular road.
Now instead of calling for reform of Wall St. (and putting US President Barack Obama, his party, and the Republicans in the crosshairs just before the high stakes election in the fall of 2012), self-proclaimed “Occupiers” called for universal health care, banning corporations from contributing money in election cycles, redistribution of wealth, debt forgiveness for college students, and ceasing foreclosure proceedings against homeowners who succumbed to predatory lending practices.
Ironically while getting some of the targets correct like banking houses like JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs, the protestors demanded that the politicians (who are largely funded by those same banking houses) and President Obama intervene to punish the wealth class that was entirely responsible. Obama’s reaction, along with his compadres in office skirted this issue merrily, by focusing the blame on “Greedy Republicans” and George W. Bush. While Republicans conveniently blamed deregulation undertaken by the Democrats during the Clinton administration. This allowed those responsible, and those who harbored, and enabled them to skirt a huge chunk of public scrutiny… but this left a dire need for a scapegoat.
Conveniently, the corporate occupied mainstream media was there to descend on the Occupiers themselves and make them the story, and not the cause that had brought them together in the first place. Police stood back as occupiers were physically and sexually assaulted, while organizers did all they could to “hush up” claims to the public, wanting to appear as an orderly assembly. Theft and drug use was rampant, as well as public displays of sexuality that undermined the movement in the press, and served to have the American people see Occupy as a bunch of “spoiled, liberal, college brats, whose parents coddled them to the point of having no decency, respect for their surroundings,” and people who were not like them. Ideologically or otherwise.
Inevitably as the weather shifted into fall, rainy and cold, and the money began to run out, Occupiers left their encampments, some promising defiantly to return in the spring, while others, left to lick their wounds, physical and otherwise, and more than likely disengage from public life altogether. Some would go underground and join the hacker group “Anonymous”, others would join the Obama reelection campaign, some would take their experiences and try to incorporate them into groups back home, like the Ron Paul libertarians. While US combat veterans saw what took place as a precursor to the all-encompassing police state, they knew all too well back in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.
What started as a clear goal, to hold those responsible accountable for their actions and to mass in public to assert their authority and demand redress for their grievances, instead became an opportunity to silence those who nobly rose up against the injustice of the establishment and corruption of the system, and instead depend on those of that system to correct it…
Act Two: The Tea Party.
While the origin of the modern Tea Party movement is disputed, with some citing the origin as December 16th, 2007 when supporters of Texas Representative Ron Paul-R, reenacted the original Boston Tea Party by symbolically throwing boxes with slogans such as “Federal Reserve, Iraq War, and Patriot Act” into Boston Harbor. These libertarian, traditional conservative Republicans, Independents, Democrats, and unaffiliated individuals rallied in public to support Paul’s positions on various issues, and used the occasion to raise a then one day record amount of money for Paul’s presidential campaign. The new media exposure from this event led to a rapid growth in public support of Dr. Paul, to the point of being the last candidate to drop out, before the Republican Convention.
From there Paul’s supporters would not be denied, as they continued to advocate for political and financial reforms espoused by Paul. This put the corporate occupied media on notice, and the corporations began to get nervous at the very real threat this unwanted grassroots movement was rapidly becoming to the powers that be. The reaction was to co-opt the Tea Party name, into the “Taxed Enough Already” Tea Party Patriots.
In January 2009, just after the 2008 election of Barack Obama, the infiltrating began. Karl Denniger, a former CEO and stock trader suggested that people assemble on the anniversary of the Tea Party to protest the TARP and bank bailouts, and the bailouts of Wall St. mainstays like Bear Stearns. As the ball got rolling Astroturf organizations, like Dick Armey’s Freedom Works, and stock traders like CNBC’s Rick Santeli, advocated public demonstrations on the anniversary of the Tea Party, to protest government spending.
On April 15, 2009 protests took place all over the country, with protestors throwing tea bags at the gates of the White House, with individuals decrying “big government spending” and that “taxation is theft.” Shortly thereafter tea party groups began to form seemingly from the grassroots, but with little to no, disclosure of their funding. After this consolidation of the popular grassroots movement, unlike Occupy, the Tea Party decided that politics and politicians were NOT the enemy, they were the solution. Groups began to host representatives, and potential candidates, screening them with questions on the Constitution, foreign policy, how they would cut spending, and whether or not they would overturn Obamacare. Now instead of advocating for personal liberty, and end to the income tax, bringing the troops home from overseas, appeals to patriotism were made, advocating increased military spending, throwing out Obamacare, commentators like Glenn Beck followed up on the Tea Party march on Washington, with a “Restoring Honor rally in Washington to kick off his offshoot of the Tea Party movement, with his own “9-12 project” that “is to restore America to where we were before 911, united, without partisanship, uniting behind his “9 principles and 12 values.”
Now the Tea Party movement was not just infiltrated, it was balkanized and marginalized into factions. With Ron Paul supporters called “homegrown terrorists” from people like Beck, the GOP influenced Tea Partiers calling for more military spending to “support our troops” in multiple wars overseas, and ringmasters like Beck, catering to those who didn’t care about the war or the economy, to come together to rally on behalf of empty platitudes, instead of specific tangible goals.
As a result of these developments, much like the Occupy movement, the grassroots were completely replaced and cut out of their own movement, and left not as participants enforcing their will on the powers that be, but bystanders who would be resigned to take orders from organizations that had divergent goals, ambitions, and principles of how to preserve and maintain relevance to the media, and by extension the general public.
Act Three: The Ron Paul Movement
Ironically of the three movements, the original Ron Paul movement was perhaps the most successful. Ron Paul took his left over funds from the campaign to begin his own political action committee and grassroots organization, the Campaign For Liberty, supporters were still motivated from events such as the “Rally For The Republic” to continue to push for their agenda and their voice to be heard. But with the successes came openings that turned to fatal vulnerabilities.
With the new stature in the grassroots of the party, and the ability to fund candidates, the former gadfly Ron Paul, now found himself in a position to publicly endorse candidates to run and challenge establishment Republicans in GOP primaries. They indeed had some success, perhaps none greater than in the state of Kentucky, where son Rand Paul, openly defeated the endorsed candidate of the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Trey Grayson, and took the momentum to ultimately defeat Democrat candidate, Jack Conway, in a highly contentious and bitter general election campaign, for the Senate seat of the retiring GOP incumbent Jim Bunning.
This was the moment the Ron Paul liberty movement had been waiting for. Ron Paul not only had an advocate in the Senate to work with his efforts in the US House, he had a legacy, that ensured that his message would continue, after his final election and subsequent retirement from public life… But this is where the betrayal became personal. Only much later did the grassroots learn of the meeting between the candidate Paul, and McConnell where McConnell had Paul, remove those campaign staff volunteers, from all over the country who had supported him on behalf of his father, and brought him his most important victory and upset of the establishment. In their place where McConnell’s own personal protegé’ in the name of Trygve Olson, and Paul’s Chief of Staff, McConnellite Doug Stafford. Through Paul Campaign manager Jesse Benton, and those in the McConnell camp, Olson immediately went about his way making Rand Paul the establishment Republican he would have to be, to nip this insurgency of the party once and for all.
The first step was replacing the primary volunteers, and campaign workers, many of whom were unpaid and used their own money to campaign for Paul, and watering down the son’s similarities between his positions and his fathers. Rather than run on his father’s libertarian ideals, Rand ran away from them. “In the March 17, 2010 issue of Time, the magazine published aninterview with Rand, where he said:
They thought all along that they could call me a libertarian and hang that label around my neck like an albatross, but I’m not a libertarian.”
In October of 2010, Jason Zengerle noted the following in a long article about Rand Paul:
“At a private office in Dupont Circle, he talked foreign policy with Bill Kristol, Dan Senor, and Tom Donnelly, three prominent neocons who’d been part of an effort to defeat him during the primary. “He struck me as genuinely interested in trying to understand why people like us were so apoplectic,” Senor says of their two-hour encounter. “He wanted to get educated about our problem with him. He wasn’t confrontational, and he wasn’t disagreeable. He didn’t seem cemented in his views. He was really in absorption mode.”
Accordingly rather than oppose sanctions as an act of war, Rand Paul voted for them against Iran.
“In 2009, the Rand Paul campaign issued a press release spelling out his neocon take on Gitmo and killing suspected terrorists without trial:
“Foreign terrorists do not deserve the protections of our Constitution,” said Dr. Paul. “These thugs should stand before military tribunals and be kept off American soil. I will always fight to keep Kentucky safe and that starts with cracking down on our enemies.”
Rand has fully supported Israel actions in the middle east, and has been less strident than his father in discussing taboo topics such as the 911 attacks on America. Recently when confronted by journalist Luke Rudkowski, and RT journalist Abby Martin, the Senator Paul can be seen walking past Rudkowski and Martin, and ignoring his questions about how Sen. Paul came to endorse GOP nominee Mitt Romney, before his father had even closed his campaign and GOP primary challenge. (Paul followed this up with retaliation against Martin, trying in vain to pull her press credential) Another insult to Ron Paul’s supporters came in a recent interview, where while endorsing Mitt Romney over his father, Paul when responding to Sean Hannity’s usual characterization of his father’s supporters as strident, Rand acknowledged that: ” they think they rule the internet, and maybe they do Sean.” This comment on top of the endorsement of Romney was a bridge too far for many of Ron Paul’s supporters, but then a funny thing happened on the way to the establishment ascension of Rand… some in the Ron Paul movement, began to attack and extract members of the grassroots FROM the Ron Paul movement…
It began subtlety with people like Jack Hunter and Austin Peterson going after “conspiracy theorists,” namely if you questioned 911 (like the victim’s family members, numerous firefighters, and members of the CIA, and previous administrations), if you thought the Obama/Romney Health Care Bill violated your inalienable rights, if you bothered to publicly protest anything, including the Wall St. bailouts, you were called names by Jack Hunter, and had self-proclaimed “Freedom Ninja’s” like Austin Peterson picking fights with you on Facebook and saying that for the Ron Paul movement to have influence, Rand Paul must follow the Saul Alinsky “Rules For Radicals” playbook, and if you didn’t agree with the capitulation with Romney, then you were “a cancer that had to be cut off,” with Peterson volunteering himself to wield the scalpel.
As the purges began they progressed to the campaign itself. People inside the campaign and at the grassroots level had complained about the incompetence of Jesse Benton as Ron Paul’s campaign manager. There were allegations from people like Penny Freeman that Benton, John Tate at Campaign for Liberty, and Tyrgve Olson, were selling Ron Paul endorsements to the highest bidder, (this alone helped get Benton cool half million for his troubles) while the campaign was pumping up a delegate strategy, asking the grassroots to pay their own way, to go to the Republican Convention and make Ron Paul’s voice heard… But once there Ron Paul and his campaign did nothing to press the issue of the mistreatment and abuse of his delegates by the party establishment, let alone step in and speak out for his delegates who in spite of unlawful arrests, harassment and intimidation of physical violence, made their way into the convention hall. Paul was right there, his people were right there, this was the time, the place, the moment that Ron Paul and his campaign could have taken control of the process… Instead he decided, or his handlers decided to sneak Ron Paul out the back door of the convention hall, and fly home, but not before himself, his wife, and family members, were subjected to symbolic harassment by the TSA. While his delegates were surveiled, had their movement on the floor restricted, and had the microphone at the podium, where a delegate could have called for a point of order to nominate Paul, reinforced with a perimeter of security, secret service, and even party leaders.
At the end of this atrocity, and ultimate letdown after such a big buildup, the knives began to come out and the purges accelerated. Campaign funds were divvied up, and self-interested alliances were made. This was confirmed when the same day that Ron Paul’s final campaign for public office officially ended, a press statement was released announcing that none other than Jesse Benton, the mole that was sent by McConnell to sidetrack the 2nd Paul campaign, and ingratiate himself into the Paul family through marriage, knowing Paul’s open weakness for favoring family members, against his own best interests, politically speaking, this man Benton would become the campaign manager for none other than Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign in Kentucky. Finally the insurrection and assimilation was complete. The people were divided and exploited. The scion of the Paul dynasty was compromised. His supporters enforcing the establishment playbook, and exiling anyone who chose or professed to do other wise. This explains Hunter’s initiation of the “crusades” against those who questioned the strategy, and enlisting the aide of Austin Peterson, so that Hunter could shift from having a paycheck from running Ron Paul’s campaign blog, to remaining on the payroll for serving as Rand Paul’s attack dog, dividing and conquering the grassroots into submission, and into the arms of the GOP establishment, if they were to stay engaged at all. Now, Rand Paul would no longer have his father, or his father’s backers to protect him, he had become a full-fledged member of the order of the GOP elite, and his father’s campaign of principles advocating for liberty for all, would be his offering of tribute, and the hearts of his father’s liberty movement would be the sacrifice, so that he may be included at the foot of the altar of power, and subject to their corrupted authority.
What have we learned with these three aforementioned acts? In each case a need of the people was being ignored or unfulfilled, and they themselves began to assemble to address their needs, or make demands to authority to address their legitimate concerns. As awareness spread, and the possibility that critical mass could be achieved, immediately the establishment sent in infiltrators, and moles, to redirect those at the organizational level to do their bidding, and undermine each movement.
Occupy started out as a reaction among the grassroots to the belief that the government had become corporate occupied territory, and no longer passed laws that protected the people’s interests, and instead worked for the powerful to circumvent or ignore the people’s interests. As the impact of the righteous indignation and anger began to take hold, immediately the corporately owned and operated media, began to circle their wagons and attack those who massed, assembled and spoke out.
The Tea Party was hijacked by Astroturf establishment Republicans, and agendas were substituted from the agenda of the people, to a limited agenda of what the powers that be decided they could live with. Instead of ending wars, we expanded them and directed more resources we don’t have to private military contractors, and called anyone who attacked them, even the soldiers themselves, traitors to America. Instead of demanding that Wall St. be held accountable for their crimes against the people, we allowed the corrupt politicians like Melvin Watt D-NC (the Congressman from Wachovia Bank), and Christopher Dodd D-Conn., to derail reform of the Federal Reserve Bank, or the Financial Reform efforts into a watered down bill advocating something akin to the “honor system” that enabled the collapse to occur in the first place, and the corruption to continue, in perpetuity on the back of the American taxpayer, obligated to unlimited bailouts for the irresponsible, an eternal punishment for those who did everything they could, and succeeded at avoiding a similar fate and circumstance, until their unrepresentative government mandated that they pay the ultimate price.
The Tea Party again was another unforeseen reaction among the public, against an unjust government. Who spent money on the people’s credit card, and distributed that money to cronies, corporations and contractors who returned their ill-gotten gains back into the hands of the politicians who granted it to them. Like the Occupy movement, the Tea Party was quickly infiltrated, balkanized and fractured, not only alienating each other, but the larger mass of the people who, like the members of the movement themselves, lost their meaning and sense of themselves amongst the noise, and once lost, substituted their identity and agenda, for those who emerged from the outside to direct them to their own selfish, and self preserving aims.
And now the trifecta is complete. The “little mouse that roared”, the “canary in a coal mine” that preceded all of this, the aforementioned Ron Paul liberty movement, is methodically and conveniently for the powers that be, falling into the same trap of backbiting, petty personal attacks, personality and ideological cults, that is derailing the last great ideological and principled movement of our time, into a partisan wing of the crumbling, and radically irrelevant establishment. No dissent will be tolerated, not even on popular (formerly) grassroots sites and message boards like the Daily Paul.
If this assimilation and capitulation is allowed to take place, then the people will have no new popular grassroots movement to represent them, or to give voice to their concerns, grievances, and demands. Now the people are left to pick among the pre-selected candidates chosen precisely for their aims to insulate the corporations, the government, the financial sectors of the economy from the masses of Americans who are needlessly, and oh so cruelly suffering from the weight of the elites self-serving agenda.
You are not permitted to have your voice heard, or have someone speak out for you, not even in the political process with the parties changing rules to cut out the grassroots influence on not only the platform, but the delegate process itself. Now the people can’t even use the last mechanism to have their voice heard and grievances addressed in the political system.
Their movements compromised, their efforts within the system, erased, or opportunities to assert their will within the corrupt system foisted upon them, removed by the corporately financed and operated political machines, the people are now left disenfranchised, unwanted, and given the false choice of cosmetic change, in place of the substantive change and reforms needed to protect others from this same fate, and lift the victims out of their permanent one, under this corrupt present system.
Made worse with the recent Citizen’s United Supreme Court decision that allows corporations to funnel money in election cycles to slander those who would oppose, or heartily embrace those who are willing to serve their corporate, exploitative agenda. While the Campaign Finance Reform bill, guts the grassroots organizations through byzantine regulations, disclosures, and finance limits, that the now “corporate persons” are gleefully exempted from.
Now the people must decide where to go from here. Appeal to authority has been proven to be a failure, while some misguided individuals still cling to the “hope” that they will be permitted to “change” something of real measure to their benefit. But these individuals have already begun to compromise to get a seat at the table, and it’s only a matter of time before the dance begins, and the powers that be engaged in the final, ultimate corruption of the individuals virtue to permanently alienate them from their own cause, instead replacing ultimate loyalty and obedience to that which enthralls them, instilling an obsession with their own self perception of power, however restricted and limited it may be.
If we let this happen, we will be the enforcers of our own fate. A fate that we did not design for ourselves, nor willingly chose to implement. If we fall for the deception, to abandon our sacred principles in order to save them. We are no different from the corrupt government system who similarly “abandoned free market principles to save the free market,” and “destroyed the village in order to save it.” That path leads us to pestilence, that will cost us, not only our principles, but our lives and the lives of our children. If we can have the wisdom and discernment to forsake the appeal to compromise, and forsake our own identity and the principles that are the foundation of that, for the false identity of NO principles, and phantoms of inclusion and absolute power, then we can move forward and push back hard against these evil forces who would conquer us. But the choice ultimately is ours, and ours alone.
We can choose to live free and preserve freedom, or choose to enforce a corrupt order, that will only lead us to anarchy, disorder, violence and defeat. Do we have the courage to stand up for what is right and assert our values and principles, or will we finally succumb to authority once and for all, with nothing to protect us from the masters, or from each other.
The choice is ours. The time is now. It is time for you… to choose your fate…