-By Warner Todd Huston
John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, penned an op ed in the Chicago Tribune touting what he claims is the common ground between conservatives and the Occupy Wall Street leftists who have trickled into the streets across the country. I hate to say it, but his op ed was puzzling and its base concept — that conservatives and these Occupy nuts should work together — is incredibly off base.
Before I get into Tillman’s points, though, let me say that I generally support the good works of the Illinois Policy Institute. I’ve covered many of its events in the past, I’ve worked closely with some of its members, and I’ve met Mr. Tillman many times at many events. I repost the Institute’s email blasts on my sites, as well.
I will continue with my support of the Illinois Policy Institute (don’t call them IPI because some other organization has that trademarked and they get mad) despite this disagreement with Mr. Tillman. They often do very good work.
OK, now that that’s out of the way… Tillman, my friend, you are soooo wrong!
Tillman began his piece talking about how he had been coming across Occupy Chicago protesters on his daily walks to and from work in downtown Chicago. He decided to stop and talk with some of them, the results “delightful,” he said.
Tillman says he discovered that the Occupiers were against the same things the Tea Partiers were against. The Occupiers were against “crony capitalism,” Tillman said. They hated it when “people misbehaved on Wall Street,” he averred. Tillman also found that the Occupiers were not happy with how they’ve been portrayed by the Old Media.
Unlike the other items, though, and Tillman didn’t say so, that last frustration does indeed find a mirror in the Tea Party movement. But I’d reply that these Occupiers have nothing to complain about where media portrayal of their efforts are concerned. The media has treated the Occupiers like conquering heroes. The Tea Partiers, on the other hand, were portrayed as racist, hate-filled, barbarians that were destroying America’s political discourse.
In fact, that one point serves as only the first of many ways that the Tea Partiers are as far separated from these Occupy nuts as possible. But not to Tillman. After his 30-minute confab with the Chicago Occupiers, Tillman proclaimed them simpatico with Tea Partiers and said the two should work together.
But first he indulged one of those little things that will always endear a conservative to liberals. He appeared to criticize his own.
There appears to be this great schism in the tea party movement about how the occupiers should be treated: rejected as crazy leftists or embraced?
Nasty old Tea Party movement, daring to reject those nice Occupiers as “crazy leftists.” I’m sure every liberal that read Tillman’s admonition to conservatives was cheering him on.
There isn’t real any schism at all. Few if any Tea Partiers think that the crazy leftists at the Occupy-Whatever events are in any way worth reaching out to. I can’t figure out where Tillman gets this “schism” business. Can he believe it? Either that or he was just searching for a way to bring liberals to his side, a forlorn hope, indeed.
In any case, Tillman says we Tea Party folks should open our arms in friendship with these crazy leftists.
In the end, the 30-minute nighttime conversation taught me that these folks have many of the same grievances as the tea party: They don’t like the out-of-control debt, they don’t like the out-of-control spending, they don’t like the insider dealmaking and crony capitalism, and they don’t like it that they feel like they are left holding the bag while the insiders with access to power get away with everything.
…I’d argue that occupiers and tea partyers should join forces. Given what I heard the other night — at least from this particular set of occupiers — we share far more in common than they realize.
What I have found most interesting about the rise of the tea party is that the two groups who dislike them most are the Democratic and Republican establishments. If the tea party and occupiers find common ground, we’ll see the Democrats and Republicans finally unite in a bipartisan fashion against them both.
Man, that is wrong in so many ways.
Let’s take the last point first. The Democrats will never turn against the Occupy-Whatevers. Democrats have been falling all over themselves to come to the support of these fools. No matter how racist, no matter how violent, no matter how many thefts and rapes occur at these Occupy events, no matter how many anti-American chants are warbled, and no matter how many times the U.S. flag is defiled at these events, Democrats are salivating at the idea of getting the blessing of these crazy leftists.
On the other hand, many establishment Republicans hate the Tea Party movement and have since day one. Many establishment Republicans are looking for ways to torpedo the Tea Party movement yet today. They hope Mitt Romney will help them with that, too.
Now to the other points. Tillman thinks that the Tea Partiers and the Occupiers “share far more in common than they realize.”
Again, no, no, no.
Contrary to what Tillman says he found, the Occupiers are not against crony capitalism. They are 100% for government picking winners and losers in the business sector. They are 100% for green initiatives and government bailouts of that nature.
Thee Occupiers are also not against “out-of-control spending.” In fact they want to ramp up government spending on everything. How Tillman could claim otherwise is simply hard to fathom.
Finally, where Tea Partiers do stand against insider deals, Occupiers only stand against such dealmaking when it is Republicans, conservatives, or people they perceive as conservatives — like bankers or insurance companies – that might end up getting those deals. When their people get such deals they are in no way ready to stop them from enjoying any insider benefits.
You see, Tea Partiers are principled. Not one of the Occupiers have a belief in principles — especially American principles.
Occupiers hate capitalism. They hate American history. They hate America’s political system. They hate everything that makes America, America.
At Occupy events there have been rapes, drug dealing, private property destruction, racism, theft, law breaking of nearly every stripe, and no end to bashing of this country.
How can any Tea Partiers associate with that?
Sorry, Mr. Tillman, but there is neither any common ground between the God fearing, true Americans in the Tea Party movement, and the communist-loving, anti-American Occupy-Whatevers, nor is there a way for them to work together.
Ill. Policy Institute CEO John Tillman Rebuts Critiques of His Op Ed
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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