Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Finally, Someone Explains The Occupy Protest... Very Well

By Marybeth Hicks.

Call it an occupational hazard, but I can't look at the Occupy Wall Street protesters without thinking, "Who parented these people?"

As a culture columnist, I've commented on the social and political ramifications of the "movement" - now known as "OWS" - whose fairyland agenda can be summarized by one of their placards: "Everything for everybody."

Thanks to their pipe-dream platform, it's clear there are people with serious designs on "transformational" change in America who are using the protesters like bedsprings in a brothel.

Yet it's not my role as a commentator that prompts my parenting question, but rather the fact that I'm the mother of four teens and young adults. There are some crucial life lessons that the protesters' moms clearly have not passed along.

Here, then, are five things the OWS protesters' mothers should have taught their children but obviously didn't, so I will:

* Life isn't fair. The concept of justice - that everyone should be treated fairly - is a worthy and worthwhile moral imperative on which our nation was founded. But justice and economic equality are not the same. Or, as Mick Jagger said, "You can't always get what you want."

No matter how you try to "level the playing field," some people have better luck, skills, talents or connections that land them in better places. Some seem to have all the advantages in life but squander them, others play the modest hand they're dealt and make up the difference in hard work and perseverance, and some find jobs on Wall Street and eventually buy houses in the Hamptons. Is it fair? Stupid question.

* Nothing is "free." Protesting with signs that seek "free" college degrees and "free" health care make you look like idiots, because colleges and hospitals don't operate on rainbows and sunshine. There is no magic money machine to tap for your meandering educational careers and "slow paths" to adulthood, and the 53 percent of taxpaying Americans owe you neither a degree nor an annual physical.

While I'm pointing out this obvious fact, here are a few other things that are not free: overtime for police officers and municipal workers, trash hauling, repairs to fixtures and property, condoms, Band-Aids and the food that inexplicably appears on the tables in your makeshift protest kitchens. Real people with real dollars are underwriting your civic temper tantrum.

* Your word is your bond. When you demonstrate to eliminate student loan debt, you are advocating precisely the lack of integrity you decry in others. Loans are made based on solemn promises to repay them. No one forces you to borrow money; you are free to choose educational pursuits that don't require loans, or to seek technical or vocational training that allows you to support yourself and your ongoing educational goals. Also, for the record, being a college student is not a state of victimization. It's a privilege that billions of young people around the globe would die for - literally.

* A protest is not a party. On Saturday in New York, while making a mad dash from my cab to the door of my hotel to avoid you, I saw what isn't evident in the newsreel footage of your demonstrations: Most of you are doing this only for attention and fun. Serious people in a sober pursuit of social and political change don't dance jigs down Sixth Avenue like attendees of a Renaissance festival. You look foolish, you smell gross, you are clearly high and you don't seem to realize that all around you are people who deem you irrelevant.

* There are reasons you haven't found jobs. The truth? Your tattooed necks, gauged ears, facial piercings and dirty dreadlocks are off-putting. Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity isn't a virtue. Occupy reality: Only 4 percent of college graduates are out of work. If you are among that 4 percent, find a mirror and face the problem. It's not them. It's you.

Marybeth Hicks is a weekly columnist for the The Washington Times and editor of Family Events, a weekly e-newsletter and blog site for women from the publishers of Human Events. She is the author of Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom (Regnery Publishers, 2011), Bringing up GEEKS: How to Protect Your Kid’s Childhood in a Grow-up-too-fast World (Penguin/Berkley, 2008) and The Perfect World Inside My Minivan–One Mom’s Journey Through the Streets of Suburbia (Faith Publishing, 2006).

Marybeth Hicks is the author of "Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith and Freedom." Find her on the Web at www.marybethhicks.com.


  1. She is sooooo blind and has obviously not seen what I have seen. Maybe she don't know that the movement is GLOBAL and is clueless that the people she described is a portion of the movement just like they are a potion of the world. Contrary to HER belief, God's will WILL be done and we WILL come together and look out for each other when it is... The world is coming to a beginning. Now what would jesus do? who's side would HE be on?

  2. Hey Angela, I counted over half a dozen grammatical, spelling and syntax errors in your short, rambling comment. Maybe it’s time for you to “occupy” a classroom in a school.

  3. Hey Angela, I'll tell you WWJD: He would tell you to go back to school, educate yourself, get a damn job, and quit your whining!

    Thank you Mrs. Hicks for telling it like it is. This generation seems to have forgotten what other generations had to do to get to where we are today.

  4. Anonymous; at nearly 10% unemployment, it's not that easy to just 'get a damn job.'
    "Nothing is Free" - no one is asking for handouts (there may be a handful, but in a large group, there are always freeloaders), just a chance for a decent life. Too many in the country are living at poverty level. Not because they are lazy or uneducated (those lucky to have been able to get an education), but because the 'playing field' is not only *not* level, many are sitting on the sidelines, struggling to get a chance to play. They are not getting that chance, so they are voicing their anger and frustration at OWS. I believe this it still a right in this country- although seeing the police brutality, the right to demonstrate seems to be slipping away as well.

  5. Chris Makela: The unemployment rate is 9% and the rate of unemployment among college graduates is 4%. You still have the right to demonstrate; you don't, however, have the right to rape, do drugs, destroy property, harass or assault people, commit arson, defecate in public, disrupt business, trespass, be disorderly or commit any other crime in the location you are currently protesting. By the way, protesting will almost certainly NOT get you a job. You only get those by cleaning up your act, getting an education and applying yourself. Oh, and by the way, no one starts at the top. So, if you’re inexperienced, you better be prepared to start at the bottom. That’s not unfair, that’s life.

  6. Thank you for posting this! I love visiting your site!


  7. Marybeth, you're pretty hot in general, but you're super-hot when you're telling it like it is!



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