October 13, 2011
When a left-wing protest can’t draw a crowd in Madison, it’s time to freshen up the playbook. The “Occupy Madison” protest managed to draw a couple of hundred revolutionary wannabes during the weekend. Given that it’s Dane County, you could encounter a similar number of lefties by accident on a trip to the grocery store.
Possibly the most telling detail to emerge was this statement from the office of Mayor Paul Soglin:
“Guidelines have been established for protesters using the park including a waiver of the park closing time.”
Right. City authorities decided they’d tolerate the protest so long as participants observed rigorous guidelines, first and foremost of which was that they needn’t follow the rules that apply to everybody else. Try staying one minute past closing time at a Tea Party rally in a Madison park—provided the Tea Party can obtain the required permits that were also (Surprise!) waived in the case of Occupy Madison.
Call us optimists, but we think there’s educational value here. A few soft-headed commentators, including some who nominally pass for conservatives, seem to think the radicals, agents provocateurs and ordinary lunkheads laying around in parks from coast to coast have something to say.
The story line that we’re all in this together, Left and Right, all victims of corporate plunder, is a diversionary tactic, pure and simple.
Wherever you go in America, the Left faces the identical dilemma: Give the wage-earning, taxpaying, layoff-fearing public something other than Liberal economics to blame for their well-founded anxiety, or cease existing as a viable political force as of November 2012.
The small turnout in Madison is a hopeful sign.