King also explained that he is “old enough to 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.” He added, “We can’t allow that to happen”:
King is right that the 99 Percent Movement, with “occupation” actions from Sacramento to New York City and beyond, mirrors the broad-based protest movements of the 1960s. Back then, millions of American engaged in street protests which eventually led to the end of legal racial segregation, the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other successful programs to reduce the level of poverty and human suffering in America. The same protest movement King fears also led to the development of the Environmental Protection Agency, the birth of the mainstream feminist and gay rights movement, and the end of the wars in Indochina.
It might seem natural that King is an opponent of the 99 Percent Movement. He has spent much of his career in Congress placing the corporate interest over the public interest. For instance, King made a high-stakes legislative move to block health benefits for the rescue workers who developed cancer as a result of their heroic work during after the 9/11 terror attacks. He blocked the money because it was paid for by ending certain tax loopholes for foreign corporations. Indeed, like many of his GOP colleagues, King placed the foreign wealthy one percent over the people who risked their lives rescuing people at the World Trade Center.