There are many ways to attack freedom, and as a rule, one thinks of a police state where the government censors the press or the right of people to assemble to voice opposition to a particular policy or political agenda. America’s Constitution guarantees the people the right of free speech, religion, and the press as basic human rights worthy of a freedom-loving people and a democratic government. The 1st Amendment also guarantees that Americans have a right to assemble peaceably. Apparently, at least one Republican considers the Constitution’s guarantee of “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” as an attack on freedom. Republicans have assailed the Constitution for the past two-and-a-half years, but to claim peaceful protests are an attack on freedom is a new low for the gutter-dwelling Republicans.
Representative Paul Broun (R-GA) accused the Occupy Wall Street protestors of attacking businesses and freedom. Broun said the protestors “don’t know why they’re there. They’re just mad,” and that “I see people angry in my district too. But this attack upon business, attack upon industry, attack upon freedom and I think that’s what this is all about.” Mr. Broun really needs to learn exactly what the word attack means because if peaceful protests can be misconstrued as attacks, then this nation is in worse shape than it appears. Conservatives have made it a habit to label opposition to any of their favorite causes as attacks. For example, advocates for same-sex marriage are accused of attacking traditional marriage, and opposition to religious symbols in government is an attack on Christianity. Social and Christian conservatives bring out their “attack on Christmas” meme every winter, and Michele Bachmann accused Washington of attacking fertility because Democrats support Planned Parenthood. Republicans have a real problem dealing with dissenting opinion, and in lieu of discourse or possibly trying to understand why the Occupy Wall Street protestors are so angry, it is much easier to accuse them of attacks.
During President Obama’s new conference on Thursday, he said the Wall Street protest movement “expresses the frustrations that the American people feel.” The President also said his administration has not been more aggressive in prosecuting Wall Street malfeasance that caused the financial crisis of 2007-2008 because their actions were not necessarily illegal, but they were immoral. The real reason Wall Street did not do anything “illegal” is because the Bush-Republicans eliminated regulations that would have made the immoral derivative scandal illegal. Americans are angry that Wall Street and corporate bankers tanked the world’s economy deliberately and then asked taxpayers to bail them out.
It is unclear exactly how peaceful protests can be misconstrued as an attack on business or industry, but it shows the cultural difference between Republicans and 99% of the country who suffers from Wall Street’s immoral activities. The Occupy Wall Street movement is not attacking industry or business, they are protesting the continuing rape of the population by wealthy industrialists and financial institutions who are allowed to conduct questionable practices with impunity. Broun really made a giant leap though when he said the protestors were attacking freedom. Did Broun mean the freedom of corporations to move Americans’ jobs out of the country or their freedom to avoid paying taxes on foreign profits? If Broun is going to level a serious charge of attacking freedom, he owes it to the protestors to explain his inflammatory rhetoric, but he will not because he does not have a grasp on reality and not just because he accused protestors of attacking freedom.
Broun just could not keep his mouth shut and went on to attack President Obama by claiming the President’s policies have forced jobs overseas and damaged the economy. Was Broun in Congress when the President and Democrats attempted to eliminate tax breaks for corporations that outsourced Americans’ jobs to China, South Korea, and India? Yes, Broun was elected in 2007 and was in the House that obstructed the Democratic attempt to bring manufacturing jobs back to America. Broun is either confused, stupid, or a liar. He said he did not think Congress would pass a major jobs bill because the President’s stimulus did not create jobs “out in the private sector.” Well, that is not even remotely true and Broun knows it. Economists and the Congressional Budget Office claim the first stimulus created 3.3 million jobs for Americans who built roads, manufactured automobiles, retrofitted low-income seniors’ homes to be energy efficient and many other tasks. Broun, like all the Republicans in Congress are sticking to their fallacious belief that eliminating taxes and regulations is the only way “to create jobs and try to create a stronger economy.” Still, he does not say how protestors are attacking businesses, industry, or freedom because the attacks do not exist.
What exists are Republicans digging in and hanging tough with their tired lies that the stimulus did not create jobs, and that only deregulation and tax cuts create jobs and a strong economy. If the people in the Occupy Wall Street movement are attacking freedom by speaking out against corporate malfeasance, then most Americans are guilty of attacking corporations, industry, and freedom. Broun is not exceptional in his ability to spout nonsense because his statements have been repeated by every Republican in Congress shedding light on the Republican propaganda machine’s ability to repeat ad nauseum their lies and misinformation until someone believes them. The real problem Broun and indeed all Republicans has is they are frightened that the American people are finally fed up with the GOP allowing corporations and banks to rape the economic life out of every person in America except the wealthiest 2% of Americans. What Broun and his Republican liars club should really be concerned about is when hundreds-of-thousands of Americans take to the streets to reclaim their economic freedom the corporations and banks have stolen through covert and overt attacks on their livelihood.
Perhaps Broun should peruse the causes of the French Revolution to see what attacks really entail; because if he did, he would acknowledge that the Occupy Wall Street movement is a mild protest against Wall Street bankers and corporations and not an attack on freedom. The American people’s economic freedom has already suffered devastating attacks and now that they are saying stop, Republicans are crying foul. Broun’s statement sounds suspiciously like a convicted felon who attempts to deflect blame on their victim, and although Broun is not convicted yet, him and his party are criminals of the first order. It is time for the Occupy Wall Street movement to ratchet up the pressure nationwide and show Republicans, corporations, and corporate bankers just what freedom really means. According to the Constitution, freedom means the right to assemble peaceably; something Broun does not understand and is attempting to prohibit because Republicans are frightened that Americans are finally telling them and their corporate donors they have had enough.