As reported on the Rush Limbaugh Show, Clinton pollster Douglas Schoen has published a poll in the WSJ that appears very unfavorable to the Occupy Wall Street crowd, and confirms many “right-wing” arguments that the lot are a bunch of spoiled brat Democrat supporters and assorted radicals. The immediate reaction on the left was to dismiss the poll, cherry-picking a few clumsy arguments by Schoen to argue that the poll should be thrown out.
ThinkProgress, for example, argued that the protesters do not support the “radical redistribution of wealth” to the extent Doug Schoen argues in his WSJ piece. But let us look at TP’s reasoning: only 4% of those surveyed about the goal of the protest named “radical redistribution of wealth.” But what do the rest say, as reflected in the questionnaire?
The way the question was framed, many answers are not mutually exclusive of the “radical redistribution of wealth” goal. An example of a mutually exclusive answer would be “respect for private property” or “protecting free market capitalism.” The top answers were: Influence the Democrat Party the way the Tea Party has influenced Republicans (35%) – to accomplish what?; Engage and mobilize Progressives (9%) – to accomplish what?; Promote a national conversation (9%) – to accomplish what? Only one of the answers refutes Schoen’s claim, 5% support a flat tax. And at least one of the answers further supports Schoen’s claim: a part of the agenda of modern progressives is to remedy income inequality, as in, they support a “progressive income tax.”
And the capper on Schoen’s claim is that 77% say that we “need to raise taxes on the richest Americans.” So unless they support that money being destroyed to fight rising inflation, the poll supports Schoen’s claim. A further clarification shows that only 36% believe taxes should be raised on everybody, solidifying Schoen’s argument.
For the same reason, ThinkProgress’ assertion that Schoen’s poll does not support his claim that a “large majority” express “opposition to free-market capitalism,” does not hold water. By its very nature, free market capitalism is not conducive to the penalization of the rich for being rich. “Fairness” is not defined as income redistribution from the “haves” to the “have-nots”; but rather rewards the “works” and punishes the “work-nots” (thereby coaxing the able-bodied to work and support themselves).
For the left, anything that does not edify its worldview is a “lie.” Schoen was merely trying to describe the views of the protesters, as he sampled them, and alert his fellow Democrats in elected office that it might not be a wise idea to throw in lot with the radicals before the election. He was only doing as the radical pragmatist Alinsky advised: believe in reality, and not in what one wants to believe. [Continued at Political Crush]