Herman Cain recently commented on the Occupy Wallstreet movement and his remarks are rather interesting. He began by asking a question that has become part of the narrative presented by the media and the opposition to the movement, namely”What do they want?” The idea seems to be to cast the protestors as being without purpose. Interestingly, this narrative has been followed by both the allegedly liberal media (which is composed of large corporations) and the Republican candidates.
Cain also said, “I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration.” While Cain has the freedom to believe what he wishes to believe, he certainly shows a lack of critical thinking skills when he makes such a rather serious assertion while, at the same time, admitting that he has no supporting evidence.
While Cain is willing to accept that the banks played a role in the 2008 melt down, his response is that “We’re not in 2008 — we’re in 2011!” While this is true, he seems to miss the point that what happened in 2008 is rather likely still having an effect in 2011.
He also made the stock comment that the protests “come across more as anti-capitalism.” This does not, in general seem to be the case. Rather, the majority of the protestors seem to be concerned about the excesses of capitalists and the corruption in the current system. Saying that they are anti-capitalist because they are concerned about the misdeeds done in a capitalist system is rather like accusing people rallying against rape as coming across as more anti-sex.
Romney also criticized the protestors, using the stock Fox line that they are engaged in class warfare. If it is warfare, it is a rather peaceful sort of war on the part of the protestors (not as much on the side of the authorities). Also, as noted above, the protestors seem to be mainly concerned about excesses and corruption rather than launching a class war. Of course, the narrative is that any criticism of the system or the wealthy is to be countered with hyperbole and the dysphemism “class warfare.” The real class warfare is, obviously enough, being waged by some of the wealthiest against those with far less political power.