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Occupy Wall Street: Ron Paul versus Herman Cain

Last night’s CNN Republican presidential debate generated some new heat, but very little light on the issues conservatives and Tea Partiers really care about – the one exception being, and perhaps the most interesting exchange of the evening, was the discussion of the Occupy Wall Street protests between Congressman Ron Paul and businessman and former Federal Reserve Board Member Herman Cain.

CNN’s liberal commentator Anderson Cooper posed to Herman Cain a question he received from Twitter, "How do you explain the Occupy Wall Street movement happening across the country? And how does it relate with your message?"

Cain reiterated a previous comment in opposition to the Occupy Wall Street protests; "Don't blame Wall Street, don't blame the big banks. If you don't have a job, and you're not rich, blame yourself."

Congressman Ron Paul, on the other hand, seemed willing to grant the Occupy Wall Street protesters the special status coveted by every liberal entitlement-seeker -- that of being a “victim” of some oppressor, when he said, “Well, I think Mr. Cain has blamed the victims. There's a lot of people that are victims of this business cycle. We can't blame the victims.”

Ron Paul then went on to give a spirited indictment of the TARP Wall Street bailout, which Herman Cain supported, and to observe that, “But who got stuck? The middle class got stuck. They got stuck. They lost their jobs, and they lost their houses. If you had to give money out, you should have given it to people who were losing their mortgages, not to the banks.”

Ron Paul made a legitimate point, but here’s the problem with his position – the middle class isn’t at the Occupy Wall Street protests, it is at the Tea Party meetings and rallies.

We often agree with Ron Paul, but in this case he showed the limits of his vision by accepting the notion that anyone who opposes the Washington/Wall Street Axis must be a friend. Anyone who digs just a little into what the Occupy Wall Street protesters want will quickly realize that their demands are anything but conservative, calling for nothing less than the overthrow of the Constitution and a radical redistribution of wealth.

We believe that as the campaign progresses, conservatives and Tea Partiers should take a tougher look at Cain’s support of TARP, the national sales tax in his 9-9-9 plan, and his lack of foreign policy experience. But that one brief exchange did do a lot to explain the rise of the Cain phenomenon -- his Reagan-like embrace of individualism and America as the land of opportunity was no staff-written one-liner. It came from the heart and his personal experience -- and whether or not Herman Cain becomes the Republican nominee for President, last night he showed once again that he is the real deal.

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I know Ron Paul. Mr. Cain, your no Ron Paul ...

The only limited vision on display with the subject is yours.

What are the words from Paul exactly that lead you to believe he has found the Occupy folks friend or foe?  The truthful answer would be none, because there weren’t any.  The idea of dividing us with labels as such and seeking a determination of friend or foe comes from you and I suspect, before he made an effort to clean up his previous language, Herman Cain as well. And anyone who “digs just a little into the Occupy Wall Street protesters” with an open mind should also realize that they’re just followers being lead, in many cases by the folks with the agenda that brought this nation to a crisis point to begin with (our real foes).  The protesters are not the enemy either nor should we assume they are necessarily the blame.  If anything they are the pawns much like even some unfortunate souls within our Tea Party movement itself (perhaps even the leaders as well). Besides the fact that Herman Cain doesn’t hold a candle to Ron Paul in terms of conservative credentials, but this discussion also demonstrates he isn’t the leader Ron Paul is either.  These folks need to hear the truth about liberty and they certainly won’t hear it from someone who feels or thinks of them as the enemy or the problem.  We that identify with the Tea Party movement should not only feel fortunate that Ron Paul is willing to be our President, but that he also gives us hope that his message of Liberty (and our message now) is in fact being heard. Ron Paul would have us find common ground with these folks that unit us not divide us.  

And don’t delude yourself with the idea that it’s Cain’s “Reagan-like embrace of individualism”  that brought about the so-called “Cain phenomenon”.  As it became apparent that Tea Partiers are a big deal to the Republican Party and were not flocking to the likes of Romney, then Pawlenty, then Huntsman, then Bachmann, then Perry, the only candidates remaining that will be acceptable to the establishment that had not yet allowed us to see was Cain (headline the Florida straw poll and magnify it’s meaning) and Gingrich (have the experts tell us he won the debates enough times).  Gingrich has already been rebuffed, but like Huntsman, if all else fails (i.e. Cain) trot him out again and again with more exposer at the right time.

It should be very, very clear to those that have been part of this movement for a longer time than just this election cycle; the establishment does not want to see a Ron Paul Presidency.  They are just about willing to do everything they can to stop it without much notice.  This is not a real conspiracy held together by back room meetings, put perhaps only one which is held together by the common ground of folks that wish to hang on to power and influence granted by some other means (the Federal Government) other than the free market place.  It is very simple really if you think about it, Ron Paul can’t be bought and everyone who knows anything about today’s politics knows it.  Leadership is finding common ground that brings us together, but at the same time not compromising your principles along the way … is not an easy road to travel, but Ron Paul has not only traveled it he has provided the path for others to follow it.

It is not just TARP, being a FED member, being Pro-Choice, having a plan that increases tax revenue on the middle class, not having a plan to cut real spending, and then supporting undeclared wars with his lack of foreign policy experience as well, that makes him unqualified to be our candidate or President, but the fact that he is just another follower of this movement, not a leader from it and for it.


Some have already come to their senses, perhaps you will as well.

Cain = Correct

Herman Cain's response was appropriate ... the OWS people are generally not true "victims" ... many are just physically and intellectually lazy.  Ron Paul is "no dope" but he's beginning to waver from his initially libertarian positions.  A real libertarian would not have suggested that the OWS'ers are in any way "victims".

OWS versus Tea Partiers

Ron Paul made a legitimate point, but here’s the problem with his position – the middle class isn’t at the Occupy Wall Street protests, it is at the Tea Party meetings and rallies.

I don't think the author is completely correct on two points:

1) It's hard to be a protester when you're working 9-5 and have to hold down a job.  But I wouldn't go so far as to interpret that as the middle class doesn't believe the protesters are right and somehow all prefer the tea party, and anyone who supports the protests is a freeloader.  If I were out of work, I would certainly spend some time at the protests when I wasn't out looking for a job.  I consider myself a member of the tea party too.  It's two separate organizations who protest against two different establishments, but to make them mutually exclusive is artificial and disengenuous.

2) I believe the real point to Ron Paul's correction of Herman Cain's position was to point out that BOTH Washington and the Banks are responsible for the issues many Americans are suffering from.  Was it wrong for the government to take taxpayer money and give it to banks instead of giving it BACK to the public so they could pay their bills?  I certainly think so, and I don't think you'll find many people who disagree.  But once the banks got our money, how many people do you think (outside of Wall Street) support what they did with it?  Do you think you could find ONE person who thinks that a CEO of a bank that was literally run into the ground, to the point where they had to be bailed out or go bankrupt, deserved a billion dollar bonus?  The fact that the banks would even CONSIDER giving out bonuses or pay raises, increasing the personal wealth of the 1%, until every penny of the bailout money was paid back is pure evil.  And I think that is the crux of the protests, even if people may have a hard time articulating it.


Right on bpitas. Well said, informed and fair.

very well put bpitas

I fully agree with your assessment and I'd like to add that Ron Paul is trying to get OWS folks to realize that government is part of the problem - especially the Federal Reserve banking cartel.  

He is trying to educate the OWS protesters that Fractional Reserve lending is what causes the boom and bust cycles.  

Herman Cain compeltely misses this point and is a big reason why I won't vote for him.  He doesn't understand or ignores the fact that the Federal Reserve is at the center of this financial crisis and is enabling both Wall Street and the US Congress to spend/speculate wildly. 

"the middle class isn’t at the Occupy Wall Street protests"

The Occupy movement is very diverse and your blanket statement that "middle class" is not on the ground is incorrect, the "middle class" is well represented, although not in any form of a majority. I would also disagree with your point about Ron Paul: "anyone who opposes the Washington/Wall Street Axis must be a friend" limits his vision in any way. Anyone who opposes the Axis CAN be a friend, and we should build that friendship in any way we can to end the choke hold the Axis has on our economy. Cain has proven himself to be anything but friendly to the middle class in the past and his 999 plan, at least according to the Tax Policy Center, is just another example, since 83.8 percent of tax filers would get a tax increase under Cain’s plan, compared with current tax policy.
We are ALL victims of the process that is entrenched between DC and Wall Street now and Cain says it is our fault, and so it is, at least to the extent that we elected the people, and by extension their policies, that purport to represent us now. Bottom line about the occupy movement though, is that Ron Paul supports every persons' right to protest peacefully no matter what his political affiliation is. Our Constitution is dying, but it is not dead yet and that right is fundamental to this Republic, we may not like what they are saying, but if we believe in our Constitution, we have to support their right to say it. There is nothing "Reganesque" about Cain, he espoused central planning, still does, espoused "too big to fail", still does, and advocates a "redistribution of wealth" from the bottom up. The Tea Party wants smaller government, only one candidate has a plan that will do that, Ron Paul's Restore America. Put your money where your mouth is and support him.

Wealth Redistribution vs. Job Redistribution

As a Buchanan conservative, i.e. a 'neo-nationalist', I no longer feel at home even in the 'constitutional conservative' movement. The constitutional conservative movement appears to refuse to recognize that U.S. multi-nationals are no longer acting in the interest of the people of the United States. The constitutional conservatives scream to high heaven about 'class warfare' and 'wealth redistribution' without really getting the fact that the multi-nationals have done wholesale JOB REDISTRIBUTION via their offshoring initiatives. By pointing the finger at unions the tax-dodging multinationals have convinced the conservative movement that they should be free to go around the world propping up every third world dictatorship possible by using their low cost labor force at the expense of the American homeland. That's why your iPhone is made in China, as is your PC, your Amazon Kindle, and every other high tech digital device. I believe that the constitutional conservative movement is setting itself up for a big sucker punch by not seeing that the GOP has surrendered on the issue of JOB REDISTRIBUTION, towing the party line for their globalist corporate backers. It is in this light that the constitutional conservatives need to see the left-wing inspired Occupy movement. If the conservatives want to concede 100% of the issue to the liberals, i.e. want to concede that there is no such thing as patriot economics (vs globalism), keep bashing Occupy. Unfortunately, this is what will continue to happen and like Meg Whitman in CA, Romney will go down to defeat (along with the others) on the issue of kissing globalist corporate butt. It's a year from the election, and other than a 'tax holiday' for repatriated globalist profits, the GOP doesn't have a clue on job creation. The argument that you just get government out of the way and good things happen in 'the market' is just a big joke. To become a great power again we need real patriotic capitalist leaders, not multicultural Wall Streeters schooled by Bain Capital and the rest of the offshoring class. Hope you have the guts to let this comment through.