If you believe a column in Newsweek magazine, most of the Occupy Wall Street protesters are just regular folks, people like you and me. Writer Michael Daly puts forth that the demonstrators simply have had enough of an unfair economic system, and what’s wrong with that?
But a survey taken at the protest site in New York City tells quite another story. Pollster Doug Schoen, who once worked for President Clinton, had his staff ask 200 protesters to define themselves.
Just 15 percent are unemployed.
Most voted for Barack Obama in 2008, but now only 44 percent approve of the job the president is doing.
Fifty-two percent have participated in political demonstrations before.
Thirty-one percent say they would support violence to advance their agenda.
And what is that agenda? Schoen writes: "The protesters have a distinct ideology and are bound by a deep commitment to radical left-wing policies. ... (The movement) comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in the radical redistribution of wealth..."
In other words, these folks want our stuff.
Throughout history, there have been human beings who did not want to compete in the marketplace. That sentiment drives a hatred of capitalism. The American economic system is a meritocracy. If you work hard and do well in your job, you usually will prosper -- provided you practice patience. If you don't work hard and smart, you will be out on your keister -- unless a union saves you.
Some believe this survival-of-the-fittest system is unfair because all people are not born with equal aptitude. And that's true. Capitalism is not fair to everyone. But it gives the largest number of folks the best chance to succeed because there are many different routes to prosperity and some disinterested bureaucrat isn't standing around calling the economic shots.
But the Occupy Wall Street protesters want those bureaucrats. They believe governments have a moral obligation to provide a measure of success and education to everyone, no matter the cost. This, of course, is impossible.
I respect dissent, but not stupidity. Do these anti-capitalists ever read a newspaper or a history book? Greece and other European countries are collapsing under entitlement debt, and the entire world is suffering economically because of it.
The Soviet Union fell apart under communism. Cuba is a disaster. Zimbabwe is unspeakable. Every place on Earth that tries to seize private property implodes. Most human beings are built to better themselves, not to throw their talents into a collective kitty usually run by corrupt killers.
Generally speaking, the Occupy Wall Street crew is comprised of bored morons who want handouts. Every American has a legitimate beef about something, but most of us don't want to burn the system down. The protesters do.
Maybe if their brains were occupied with some perspective, we could get somewhere.
Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show ''The O'Reilly Factor.'' Visit his website at www.billoreilly.com.