At a time when Americans seem more divided than at any point since the Civil War, two grassroots protest movements, the Tea Parties and Occupy Wall Street protests, signal the possibility of a major realignment in American politics along the lines of massive shared opposition to the domineering financial sector and its corrupt counterparts in government.
Washington Bails Out Wall Street
Since the very beginning in February 2009, I have defended the Tea Party movement against its detractors in the media and government. Just weeks before they spread like wildfire across the nation, while working through my senior year of college, I sat in front of the television in the Fall of 2008, watching with bewilderment as Congress passed a “$700 billion” bill (which has turned out to be more like $3 trillion in addition to another $10 trillion+ privately loaned out by the Federal Reserve) to bail out Wall Street banks.
As a teenage conservative raised on right-wing talk radio, I had always opposed government welfare programs for the poor. Private charity to help those in need was, in my opinion, not only a good thing, but according to the religious values I professed an absolute moral imperative. But I didn’t believe charity should be legislated any more than any other private moral belief, just like many Democrats would oppose legislating private moral views about drug use, or Pat Robertson’s sexual mores.