This morning the anchors on Fox & Friends requested comments about a Florida Mom who has decided to make an extended commitment to the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York and who likened this commitment of time to military service.
As a decorated Desert Storm Veteran and a life-long conservative/libertarian, I have a few thoughts about this Florida Mom’s choice.
First and foremost, she has a 1st Amendment right to be there. Just because people may not agree with my brand "patriotism" doesn't negate their Constitutional right to peaceably assemble, to voice their concerns and promote systemic change. I spent over 10 years in the US military defending that right for people who agree with my point of view AND those who don't.
Secondly, as for her comparison of her extended commitment to the protest to military duty, I have a dichotomous opinion. She certainly is not under contract (as all military members are) and is free to leave and return home at her discretion without fear of reprisal for desertion. She is not required to and does not wear a uniform and is not subject to a leadership command structure or other authority such as the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). However, when I entered the military, I took an oath to defend my country against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC. It is my belief that this woman does indeed feel duty bound (if not by oath by conscience) to oppose a domestic “enemy” of the people. On that particular point, I support and empathize with her.
Finally, as a request to Fox News and other mainstream media outlets, I have a request of my own. I believe the American public would be well served by an in-depth expose on the OWS movement conducting deeper interviews across a broader spectrum of attendees (i.e., race, gender, age, political persuasion, etc.). The sound-bite focus on the fringe elements is an obvious effort to marginalize the entire movement which is insulting to those of us who are critical thinkers. While there are no-doubt radical elements within the movement and attempts by certain factions of the political community to co-opt the movement, many of the concerns expressed by OWS are legitimate concerns which should be examined and explored as part of good public discourse on the systemic issues we face.
What follows are some questions I would like answered vis-à-vis the movement and its concerns:
Q: Please articulate your top five concerns for being part of this movement. Please keep your answers factual and on point so they can be honestly discussed and debated in an intelligent manner.
Q: Given the massive potential conflict of interest, why are former Wall Street CEOs and Fed Governors even considered for prominent government roles such as Treasury Secretaries?
Q: Can you give a reasonably sound argument as to why private debt (of the largest banks and insurance companies) should EVER be transferred to sovereign public debt?
Q: Why should hard- working Americans like you and me pay for the mistakes [deliberate fraud] of the banking elite?
Q: Please define "to big to fail" for me. What does that mean?
To me this is little more than a mix of philosophy and propaganda which has become public policy. The enormous moral hazard created by this "system" of banking (i.e., The Fed as a "lender of last resort") is what brought us to this point of catastrophe in the first place. An over-simplified example would be to tell me to head to Vegas and bet the farm and assure me that if I lose the bet, you'll cover my misguided use of capital. That's disastrous public policy given the Founders concerns (and mine as well) about the hearts of men.
I wrote this article and raise these questions as a concerned citizen who cares deeply about our Constitutional Republic. While I would acquiesce that there are certainly fringe elements at work in the OWS movement, there are also genuinely concerned citizens who have had enough of the cleptocratic oligarchy that brought this disastrous financial havoc on our economy and have imposed severe austerity on the American people.