FALMOUTH – Two summers ago, tens and hundreds of thousands of taxpayers demonstrated in cities across America to protest out-of-control government spending.

They gathered, gave speeches, played music and waved signs. At the end of their demonstrations, they gathered up their trash and went home.

No police were needed at any time to control them, and there were no arrests or criminal violations during any of their gatherings. They were the tea party.

The media ignored them for the most part, or cautioned their readers that these demonstrations were not democratic.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and media talking heads called them dangerous. “Astroturf, organized, racist, too white” and other invective was hurled their way.

They had no right to act the way they did, it was said. “They can go straight to hell,” thundered Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

This October, thousands of protesters decided to occupy someplace — anyplace — to protest Wall Street influence, corporate greed, college cost, student loan debt, unemployment, underemployment, capitalism, profit, the rule of law and just about anything.

These Occupiers (aka: “Obamaville squatters”) set up squalid campsites in cities across the country and around the world. They defied laws, defiled parks with human waste, used drugs, disturbed the peace by banging drums at all hours of the day and night and had numerous conflicts with the police. Several people even died in the camps.

Cities are slowly evicting them (Portland is on the super-slow track) and reclaiming their parks after spending enormous amounts of taxpayer money to control the protesters.

The media loves them. “This is what democracy looks like,” is a common theme. It is First Amendment freedom of speech at its finest.

Oh, sure, there are a few problems, but overall, this is a good thing. “Democracy is a little messy sometimes,” cooed Pelosi.

The media talking heads see a lot of merit in their cause. Maxine Waters identifies with them. The Portland Press Herald highlights some of the protesters with human-interest stories, “putting a face on them.”

Although it is a worldwide movement, no one in the press is investigating the obvious organization. (Where is investigative sleuth Bill Nemitz when he is needed?)

No one is questioning who is paying for the food, tents, etc., that keep the Occupiers in their camps. They are not too white, undisciplined or guilty of any bias. “They are getting their message out.”

How is it that the media can view two such contrasting movements so differently?

Either they are both examples of democracy in action or they are both wrong. But it is mind-boggling to choose the movement that breaks the law and flouts societal norms as the righteous cause, while denigrating the one that tried to work within social mores and the rule of law. Can the media ever be objective?

As to the Occupiers, they have their signs. The slogan “We are the 99 percent” that permeates these camps is a supreme example of hyperbole or egotism. No, the Occupiers are not the 99 percent. They are the “gimme gang. “

While most of the 99 percent are going about their daily lives, working, providing for their families, obeying the law and trying to get ahead in life, the Occupiers are the folks who have no greater demand on their time than to camp out in parks and wail about the “unfairness” of it all.

They rail against income inequality. What about self-discipline inequality, responsibility inequality, work-ethic inequality and common-sense inequality? These are just a few of the other inequities they may want to ponder as they squat in their tents.

If Wall Street has too great an influence on politicians, why not demonstrate in front of the person who received more Wall Street money than any other politician in America — Barack Obama?

Finally, they may be misguided or organized “tools,” but they are not the 99 percent. The majority of the 99 percent are functioning as contributing members of society, something to which the Occupiers may one day want to aspire.

Gerald Caruso is a resident of Falmouth.