Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) is afraid that the growing number of Occupy Wall Street protesters, along with the mounting media coverage of the movement, may end up shaping U.S. government policy like the anti-war protesters did in the 1960s and 1970s.
King was speaking on Laura Ingraham's radio show on Friday when he blasted the protesters as ragtag mobs and said he remembers a 1960s left-wing movement that took to the streets and caused policy changes after the media glorified the protesters. He hopes that the Occupy Wall Street protesters aren't re-creating the spirit and influence of that historical protest movement.
King, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said the protesters have no sense of purpose.
The fact is, these people are anarchists, King said on the radio program. They have no idea what they're doing out there. They have no sense of purpose other than a basically anti-American tone, and [they are] anti-capitalist. It's a ragtag mob, basically.
King isn't the only Republican who doesn't like what the protesters are doing. Herman Cain, a former Godfather's Pizza CEO and a current GOP presidential nominee candidate, has said protesters don't have anyone else but themselves to blame for what's going on in their lives.
I don't have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration, Cain said on Wednesday to The Associated Press during a book-signing event. 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!
Democrats, however, have taken a more sympathetic approach to the protesters. President Barack Obama said in a press conference last week that the Occupy Wall Street protesters have demonstrated the frustrations that the American people feel that we had the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression ... [and] you're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on the abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place.
But King refuses to give the protesters any credence.
It's really important for us not to give any legitimacy to these people in the streets, King said. I remember what happened in the 1960s when the left-wing took to the streets, and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy. We can't allow that to happen.
Listen to King's audio below.
Laura is a U.S. politics reporter for the International Business Times. She was always fascinated by the BBC World News each morning on the radio in Jamaica. That, and a love...