Pictured: Michael Gerson is concerned (by the Aspen Institute)

Michael Gerson used to work for George W. Bush, so undoubtedly, he has Obama’s best interests in mind when advises him to distance himself from the OWS movement. And if anyone knows what Americans really think, it’s a former Bush administration official.

The reaction to Occupy Wall Street reveals a gap of perceptions in America. Many liberal politicians, along with many in the media, see tent cities and clashes with the police as evidence of idealism. Many others, however, define idealism as something different from squatting in a park — as voting, walking precincts, volunteering in the community, supporting good causes and persuading their neighbors. These citizens may even share the discontents of Occupy Wall Street while rejecting its methods and culture.

Hmmm. Too bad there’s not some way to find out what all these “others” and “neighbors” and “citizens” actually think that could be expressed as, say, a percentage or something.

A new survey shows that Americans overwhelmingly support the self-styled Occupy Wall Street protests that not only have disrupted life in Lower Manhattan but also in Washington and cities and towns across the U.S. and in other nations. Some 59 percent of adults either completely agree or mostly agree with the protesters, while 31 percent mostly disagree or completely disagree; 10 percent of those surveyed didn’t know or refused to answer.

And,

In the National Journal poll, 56 percent of non-college-educated whites agree with the protesters; only 31 percent disagree.

And,

In the Time poll, 54 percent of non-college-educated men, and 48 percent of non-college educated women, view the protests favorably. (That’s roughly 51 percent overall.) Meanwhile,only 29 percent of non-college-educated men, and only 19 percent of non-college-educated women, disagree. (That’s roughly 23 percent.)

And,

In the protest movement popularity contest, Occupy Wall Street is whupping the Tea Party.

The demonstrations against big banks has a 54% favorability rating compared to the conservative group’s 27%, according to a new Time magazine poll.

Obviously, it’s very risky for Obama to associate himself with such a small, fringe group of leftist anti-Semites.