Tonight on the Piers Morgan show, Donald Trump talks China, Gov. Rick Perry, birtherism and Occupy Wall Street — and, on that last subject, he has an unexpected take:
“I sort of think it’s cool,” he says. “There’s something I like about it.”
But Trump is worried about how it affects business: “They’ve been there a long time, and perhaps they shouldn’t be allowed to stay that long. A lot of decisions have to be made, because it’s getting bigger and bigger and businesses are very much being affected.”
Good luck getting them to go away; Michael Bloomberg missed that boat. Far from dissipating, the protesters just seem to be entrenching themselves ever more deeply. Perhaps “the crackdown cometh” in some places, but the end doesn’t appear to be near in NYC.
In the meantime, Trump’s statements don’t really come as a surprise. He’s a fellow who likes to pop off for shock value — and who can blame him? He receives such attention and gains such traction when he does. And, to be fair, his comments “in favor” of Occupy Wall Street came after he explained that he’d been asked to do an interview with representatives of the movement. That’s what he thinks is cool — the idea of interviewing the protesters. (The snippet from the CNN article was a bit misleading in that respect — had to watch the interview to catch the full context of his comments.)
But there is also something kinda cool about the protests themselves — and I say that as someone who has called them ludicrous and immature from the start. Anytime people amass in groups and the full messiness of humanity is on display, I can’t help but marvel at it. Do I wish the protesters would show more respect for themselves and their surroundings? Yes. But do I also sometimes want to camp out with them and truly immerse myself in the sheer spectacle of the marauding masses? You betcha.
Critics of the movement have said the protesters are crazy, that it’s unreasonable to reason with the unreasonable, that the inchoate movement is also insistently incoherent, that the environment they’ve created is unsanitary, unsavory and even a bit sickening. Some critics give a little more credence to the movement and at least acknowledge that some OWS-ers have put forward concrete demands — but those critics are still quick to dismiss those demands with well-reasoned rebuttals. But, in the end, all critics must accept these protesters as, well, persons — which means, like it or not, we have more in common with them than we don’t. Weird, right? But also “sort of … cool.”