Is Barack the one we have been waiting for? Or is it the other way around? Are we the people we have been waiting for? Barack Obama is giving voice and space to an awakening beyond his wildest expectations, a social force that may lead him far beyond his modest policy agenda.
– Tom Hayden, endorsing the Obama Movement
For a Boomer like me, following the threads of the Obama movement is like a flashback from a bad 60s drug trip — an old, unwelcome nightmare.
Whether it’s Billy Ayers or Bernadine Dohrn, Tom Hayden or Jane Fonda, or any of the other lesser-knowns, 60s Marxist radicals are lining up behind Obama.
Obama’s young worshippers think they see something altogether new, a unique persona, seemingly magically transported to this moment in history to help them finally be the ones to net the elusive butterfly of socialism’s never-realized promise.
The kids think they see something new. But do they?
Sixties’ radicals see their as yet unfulfilled yearning for socialist utopia in a well-groomed, glittery, establishment-approved package.
The college kids today, flocking to Obama rallies, don’t look much like we did, with our tie-dyed shirts and frayed bellbottoms, our waist-length hair or wild Afros. And they seem to see Obama as the antithesis of 60s’ madness, with a been-there-done-that-want-something-new kind of thirst, a quest for which youth has always been known.
Obama is clean-cut. He talks unity, not subversion. He promises equal outcomes without resorting to violence to get them. He endorses marriage and fidelity for himself, without condeming other lifestyle choices. He speaks in highbrow English, rather than the 60s revolutionary slogans:
Kill the Pigs
Violence is as American as cherry pie
If America don’t come around, we’re gonna burn it down
Obama’s followers make high-tech videos, mindlessly chanting, “Yes, we can” instead of making bombs to blow up government buildings, or holding up armored trucks and killing police officers.
This new generation seems to have the opportunity to do now with mere votes what their predecessors tried and failed to do through violence. We can finally seal the deal on the real revolution — democratically. Obama, the Closer, is at hand.
Evidenced by his list of supporters, from Ayers Dohrn, Hayden and Fonda, to the New Black Panthers, the New SDS, the New Winter Soldiers, et al., the radical Left has anointed Obama as the One. Every aging, anti-war, anti-capitalist group and their new offshoots are flocking around Obama like moths to a flame.
He is the One they’ve been waiting for. Biding their time during the dark, dreary days of Reagan, throughout the self-absorbed Boomer years, into the Yuppie sellout decade, and on through the compromising Clinton years, they’ve waited and planned and hoped.
To these rabid Marxist radicals, Obama is the One, because he’s probably their last chance to see socialism triumph on our own soil. They have grasped the reality of their own mortality.
And this could be very bad news for America. Who, in his right mind, really wants anything these radicals were peddling?
The Revolutionary (and Generational) Vanguard
An odd fact often gets lost in 60s mythology: the key Marxist radicals of those days were not themselves Baby Boomers.
Billy Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, of Weatherman infamy, were both born during WWII, barely missing the Boomer cut-off of 1946. Tom Hayden of the Chicago Seven, later a far-left California politician who was married briefly to Hanoi Jane Fonda, was born in 1939. Every single one of the Chicago Seven, in fact, known for their Days of Rage at the Chicago Democratic Convention of 1968, were pre-Boomers.
The leaders of all the Marxist student groups of the 60s were either Red Diaper Babies or upper-crust white kids born during or shortly before WWII. For them, the time was ripe for revolution in America, brought on by the convergence of post-war prosperity (they were spoiled rotten), a new war on foreign soil (Vietnam) and forced conscription (the draft). And the white radicals were able to latch on to MLK’s nonviolent successes in the civil rights movement, as opportunistic hangers-on.
In truth, the genuine Marxist revolutionaries of that era mightily disdain the Boomers for our mostly short-lived flirtation with their ways, means, and mantras. They thought that we were the ones they had been waiting for; but we copped out.
In fact, we grew up — and remembered how great America is. They still haven’t. And they hate us for it.
Even though both Bill and Hillary Clinton were radicals of a sort — protesting against the Vietnam War (Bill was a draft dodger), and supporting far-left causes at the time (the Black Panthers, SDS, George McGovern, etc.) — neither of them is technically of the same generation as the real radical leaders, the ones who are now flocking to Obama. Hillary and Bill are both Boomers, as is George W. Bush.
Although Hillary calls herself a modern “Progressive,” and continues to have close alliances with many former radicals, the true Marxists prefer Obama. They are the authentic “Progressives,” progressing the Marxist cause in America, without regard for the will of the citizenry.
Hillary is, undoubtedly, of the same mindset, but she has lived at least nine political lives, and more clearly understands the folly of seeking ideological perfection without regard to practical results over the long term. She also has, as we have seen over and over again, a personal survival instinct so strong that it keeps her from falling on her (and our) sword for the revolution.
The authentic do-or-die-trying arch-radicals see Hillary as a pragmatic compromiser, like Bill. The pair are not nearly as committed to the Revolution as they have become to Clinton power, the Clinton legacy, and the Clinton bank accounts. These Marxist revolutionaries reject politicians who stand up for America against foreign enemies; Hillary’s threats against Iran are the equivalent of blasphemy to them. Anything pragmatic is blashemy to them.
Obama’s appeasement seems a perfect fit with their own worldwide-revolutionary instincts.
These Marxist rabble-rousers, who refuse to grow up, or die, have long considered nearly all of us real Boomers to be sellouts. While most of the pre-Boomers remained Yippie revolutionaries, most Boomers became Yuppies instead. Or far, far worse, Republicans.
Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, both Chicago Seven defendants, were co-founders of the Yippies, the socialist Youth International Party, most known for its anti-establishment street theater and other public antics, as well as their symbolic flag: a bright-red star on a black field, with a dark-green marijuana leaf superimposed.
When Rubin went to work for corporate America in the mid-80s, he debated Hoffman on the merits of his decision to sell out to the man, and distilled the difference between Yippies and Yuppies thus: “if the acronym IRA makes you think of the Irish Republican Army, you’re a yippie. But if you think that IRA stands for Individual Retirement Account, then you’re a yuppie.”
In radical Marxist eyes, Hillary and Bill Clinton are definitely Yuppies. And to these folks, revolution is a religion like Islam. There are no honorable conversions. Period.
Judged politically mainstream sell-outs, the Clintons are now unacceptable standard-bearers of the Marxist revolution — an important behind-the-scenes factor in the Democrat primary race that the mainstream liberal media is loath to admit. Bill and Hillary may still have many of the same old radical goals, but any compromise with reality is too much for the pre-Boomer radicals to stomach.
Who’s afraid of washed-up SIXTIES’ radicals?
A couple of reminders on the political creed of Bernadine Dohrn — former Weatherman underground leader, now married to Billy Ayers, and very chummy with Barack Obama — seem in order here.
The best thing that we can be doing for ourselves, as well as for the Panthers and the Revolutionary Black Liberation Struggle, is to build a f**king white revolutionary movement.
– Bernadine Dohrn, May 21, 1970
That Barack Obama’s meteoric rise in American politics should have Chicago as its political home base was perhaps not quite as fortuitous and coincidental as it once appeared.
The first alliances Obama made in Chicago were with fellow travelers of socialist Saul Alinsky and leaders of the ongoing “Black Liberation” Struggle, Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan. And before Obama made even his first attempt to dip into Chicago’s political cesspool, he was introduced to and properly coronated by Ayers and Dohrn. Then came one “magical” success after another, until now the ultimate prize in American politics is stunningly within reach, in little more than a decade since Obama’s initial political grooming.
I’m going to read a declaration of a state of War. This is the first communication from the Weatherman Underground. All over the world, people fighting Amerikan imperialism look to Amerika’s youth to use our strategic position behind enemy lines to join forces in the destruction of the empire. . . . Within the next fourteen days we will attack a symbol or institution of Amerikan injustice.
– Bernadine Dohrn, circa 1970
Bernadine missed the Days of Rage at the Democrat Convention in 1968, because she was in Yugoslavia, meeting with communists from the National Liberation Front, getting advice on how to assist the worldwide revolution here in America. By far the communist radical with the sexiest image, Bernadine was also on the front lines of the “Smash Monogamy” campaign, which was designed to destroy the bedrock of American society by sneaking the revolution through the bedroom door, thereby crushing Americans’ “bourgeois hang-ups” and making them more amenable to groupthink.
And then, too, Bernadine and Ayers were busy helping their comrades to shed their “white skin privilege,” so they could identify with the core of the revolution’s oppressed, the Black Panthers. It seems more than fitting to these old Marxists, I’m quite certain, that they have found a black man to anoint, since they always believed that the revolution would succeed in America on the tails of black liberation.
Some have surmised that the considerable political influence of Ayers’ father within the Daley machine and Chicago’s halls of “justice” is the reason that both Ayers and Dohrn paid only the barest penalties for their numerous crimes against the United States. As Ayers loves to make a habit of gloating, he is “guilty as hell and free as a bird.”
Obviously, without a viable contemporary standard-bearer, these crusty old radicals would be no real threat to America, except at their university podiums, in their dreary textbooks, and in a sprinkling of local public offices.
But an eloquent, clean-cut, moderate-sounding black man is the perfect instrument for these radicals to promote their revolutionary program. Anyone who remembers the mayhem they caused and the citizens they killed in many a city and town across America, should be experiencing quite a lot of deja-vu angst right now, with Obama’s star rising, especially in the east and west.
Can Obama Seal the Deal?
Whether Obama proves to be The One, whom the 60s radicals have anointed to seal the deal on their long-awaited Marxist revolution, lies mostly now in the hands of Democratic National Committee, the party’s superdelegates, and — eventually, if he receives the nomination from the fractious Dems — the American electorate.
The 60s are long gone, but the era’s legacy lives on in the Democrat Party. As Peter Collier and David Horowitz summarized in their book, Destructive Generation:
The decade ended with a big bang that made society into a collection of splinter groups, special interest organizations and newly minted “minorities,” whose only common belief was that America was guilty and untrustworthy. This is perhaps the enduring legacy of the Sixties.
Even if the Democrats manage to avoid a big-bang ending to this nominating process (the rules for which were largely engineered by the 60s radicals themselves) remains to be seen. The Party may yet split on more traditional lines, between those who still love America and those who clearly don’t.
But the biggest sell Obama will have to make in November, if he is the nominee, is that he’s not just the handpicked new face of a very old, and thoroughly discredited ideology.
Even a young guy like Barack can’t revive the dead horse of socialism. Or can he?