As a money manager and investment advisor, I earn a living by discerning trends and taking advantage of them before they are evident to others. Trends are often preceded by seemingly innocuous anomalies. These anomalies can be detected by insightful observation. Telltale signs consist of a change in momentum, a variance to correlation, the divergence from a standard ratio, or an out-of-character human event.
My trend intuition meter was pegged on Sunday, October 14, 2013, because of events that occurred during the Million Vet March. I’ll be watching to determine if this occurrence is an outlier or if the protest expands to become a defining political event. I believe this single protest has the potential to escalate into a bigger movement. Why? Three things were different about this march when compared to other non-Left protests.
The first anomaly was REAL diversity, as opposed to the phony broad optics choreographed into most political events. The demographics of the protectors was telling. The “veterans” were represented by black and white, young and old, male and female, healthy and disabled, suits and blue colors, bikers and truckers. Judging by the slogans on the signs and banners, they were a mix of the political Center, Right, and Libertarian persuasion. There were clearly non-veterans involved, as evidenced by the presence of the very young.
Secondly, the “veterans” were openly defiant from the start with arguably premeditated intent on civil disobedience beyond simple protest and trespassing. Sam Adams could not have staged a better disturbance. This was not a peaceful feel-good kumbaya demonstration promulgated by typical milquetoast establishment Republicans. The participants were authentic, mad as hell, and surprisingly festive.
They moved barriers to gain access to closed monuments and then defiantly carried the blockades to the White House. Some were even bold enough to scale the White House fence, apparently with enough righteous indignation to not care about Homeland Security rooftop snipers.
At a minimum, their actions included inciting a riot, trespassing, theft, and destruction of government property. All in plain sight of armed authorities and a watchful media. While defiant and destructive demonstrations are not uncommon among the Left, they are rare, or more accurately nonexistent, among the “silent majority” Center Right middle class.
Up until this point, similar antigovernment demonstrations organized by factions like the TEA Party have purposely avoided even the appearance of confrontation. TEA Party demonstrators may have acted irreverent but even when provoked they were restrained and peaceful. Special effort was made to clean up demonstration areas so that the sites were left free of litter and unmolested. This was not the case for the Million Vet March.
Lastly, what is most and amazingly unique about this event was that the protesters were not motivated by a self-serving reward. The Veterans were not demanding benefits, money, healthcare or any tangible compensation for themselves. This was not a covetous protest or a polarizing single issue stance like abortion, gay, or religion rights. It was something more nuanced than that, something quite esoteric that generally does not result in so much anger and aggressive behavior.
Citizens were belligerently reacting to what they perceived as the cynical closing of open space monuments. Closings that required more expenditure of government funds to restrict than to be left open and unguarded. The President provokingly closed and barricaded national monuments to send a message that the government could and would go out of its way to inconvenience ordinary people.
The vindictive bureaucrat-in-chief furloughed safety inspectors at nuclear power plants but found money in the budget to barricade memorials. The people perceived this as a brown shirt thug tactic, not to be tolerated by an otherwise peace-loving if not apathetic public.
Obama was thumbing his nose at flyover country but the Veterans defiantly waved a one finger salute back. This was a rare display of disrespect to the Executive Branch, an office these patriotic people otherwise revere. Perhaps this is an awakening of the middle class.
The elite should be very concerned. The Veterans’ point in all this was not to simply have access to the monuments. Remember, not only did they remove barriers, they then went out of their way to dispose of the obstructions in front of the White House. The motive was not access. It was rebellion. Intended to publically MOCK the regime. The anointed hate to be ridiculed.
The Veterans taunted the riot gear clad police and played to the media’s cameras. They held up clever homemade signs (my favorite: “Mr. President, tear down this wall!”) and even proudly held up pilfered official signs stating, “ALL NATIONAL PARKS ARE CLOSED”. Unmasked and unafraid with broad smiling faces, unarmed citizens pushed back against tyranny. And the despot did nothing.
Inaction on the part of a bully foretells impotence. These common people were fearless and serendipitous. Not to be deterred by the threat of future IRS audits or ATF harassment. They simply did not care about intrusive police state extortion. Such bold insolence scares the governing elite.
What can the cowardly effeminates do when intimidation fails to keep the masses in check? The only thing they fear more than mocking is lack of power. When mind control of the sheeple is over, the governing elites’ game is up. And they know it.
What will the Statists do? They will try to downplay the success of the Million Vet March and to conceal their fear. The media will help them make the protesters out to be crazies, extremists. They will do everything within their power to prevent copycat defiance.
They will also step up efforts to intimidate and extort. But to what avail? What are they going to do to masses of middle class protesters? Put grandmothers in jail?
So, where does the game changing trend come in? If normally complacent middle class Americans are willing to charge the barricades and climb the White House fence, then it’s apparent that the people have been pushed beyond their limits and know that the tyrant has no clothes. An emboldened middle class will not tolerate the inevitable outcomes of Obamacare- rationing, lack of choice, black market healthcare, needless suffering and death. The coalition of the unhappy will not be a narrow minority special interest group that can easily be bought off.
If this trend plays out, the upcoming mid-term election year may be more volatile than the 1964 Democratic Convention. A prudent citizen will watch for warning signs and take appropriate action.