It must be a downer for the left blogosphere when the American people (false consciousness and all that) won’t get with the left-wing attack on capitalism. USA Today reports:
When asked whom they blame more for the poor economy, 64% of Americans name the federal government and 30% say big financial institutions.
Only 54% say the economic system is personally fair to them; 44% say it is not.
78% say Wall Street bears a great deal or a fair amount of blame for the economy; 87% say the same about Washington.
The poll shows that most Americans are paying attention to the protest movement. But most don’t know enough to take a position. Even among those who have followed the protests closely, 43% don’t know enough to say whether they support or oppose the movement’s goals.
But it gets worse for the class warriors: “Asked what the wealthiest 1% of Americans — the ones excoriated by Occupy Wall Street — should pay in taxes as a percentage of their income, more than a quarter of people — 28% — have no opinion. Another 21% say the richest should pay 10% or less, and only 18% say they should pay more than 30%.” Thunk.
Hope springs eternal on the left that Americans will pick up the cudgel of class envy and demand Wall Street executives go to jail, the rich have their savings confiscated (during their lifetimes and upon death) and the state accept us all as wards. Unfortunately, there has never been anything like a majority, let alone a plurality, for that, and Democrats who want to win election have to deny these redistributive aims. (You recall how furiously candidate Barack Obama strained to distance himself from his “spread around the wealth” comment to Joe the Plumber in the 2008 election.)
Unlike the Occupy Wall Street crowd, average Americans are repulsed by violent demonstrations. Unlike the OWS crowd, Americans don’t want an even larger government picking winners and losers (or, more precisely, trying to prevent losers). Unlike the OWS crowd, Americans don’t expect the government to wipe out their debts or guarantee them cradle-to-grave benefits. Democrats should do some math and figure out whether it’s all that smart to associate themselves with an unruly mob that doesn’t have the support of voters.