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Mob violence coming to America? A disturbing 48 percent of the public believes cuts in government spending may lead to violence in the United States. This was found in an Aug.12 Rasmussen Reports opinion poll. Some 13 percent of those polled feel “it is very likely.” Only 12 percent responded that it is not likely. The poll is especially significant because it is essential that we drastically peel back spending or face national insolvency.
“Several prominent Democrats and their media friends have charged the Tea Party with being economic terrorists,” the poll report said. A theory that’s as baseless as the thought of a church running a house of ill repute. The Tea Party is vilified by liberals because its believers want to slash federal spending. Tea Party participants have been victims of, not pursuers of, violence.
Americans under age 50 see violence quite possible. And most adults (58 percent) unaffiliated with either political party think spending reductions will trigger violence. That compares with 46 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of Democrats. Tax hikes and falling stock prices are much less likely to spur violence, the pollsters found. How violence may well come to America will be explored later.
Several theories have been expounded as to the causes of rioting in England, ranging from moral decay to excessive consumerism, according to an article Aug. 11 in BBC News Magazine. One criminologist, Sir Max Hastings, put his finger on “a perverted social ethos, which elevates personal freedom to an absolute and denies the underclass the discipline — tough love — which alone might enable some members to escape from the swamp of dependency in which they live.”
The judgment of another, David Wilson, professor of criminology at Birmingham City University, is that “there is a culture of entitlement in the UK…It’s not just about a particular class; it permeates all levels of society.”
Labor’s candidate for London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, said that austerity measures were responsible. “If you’re making massive cuts, there’s always the potential for this sort of revolt against that. London police have arrested more than 1,000 people. Claims stemming from the violence were put at $323 million, said a Wall Street Journal report. Aug. 12.
In early January, following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Rasmussen found 45 percent of likely voters were “somewhat concerned” initially that those opposed to President Obama’s policies “will resort to violence,” with 67 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of unaffiliated unconcerned. The liberals’ concern was dissipated when it was determined the shooter was a left-wing nut.
The violence symbolized by a mob has often been mobilized by Democrats stirred up by community organizers or labor bosses for political purposes. In March, teachers union members and union thugs stormed the Wisconsin capitol as part of their struggle against proposed restrictions on union bargaining agreements. A series of public employee protests was launched across the county protesting legislation intended to shrink labor union powers. By March, 18 states had proposed legislation to remove some collective bargaining powers from unions. Governors explained that changes were needed to cut spending and meet mandated balancing of state budgets.
French author Gustave Le Bon wrote an eye-opening book, “The Crowd, A study of the Popular Mind.” In it he analyzed the often startling and frightening effects of mobs—the behaviors, decisions and emotions of people. He maintained there is a link among people that forges a collective mind and body, for better, but usually for worse. He describes the horrors of the French Revolution, which most U.S. history books very wrongly compare with the American Revolution, which gave us our precious freedoms.
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