Sunday, January 15, 2017

American Radicals and the Change We Could Believe In

As Obama's about to depart from office, there's virtually no signs that Democrats and progressives are tacking toward the center.

I spent a lot of time attending events on campus after the election, because as noted I genuinely feel for the students scared their parents will be deported. (I think folks should have information, at least so they'll understand how due process works and where to obtain legal assistance.) In one of the last ones I attending, the president of my union, with whom I've had my battles in the past, appeared positively energized by all the opportunities for radical left activism the coming Trump administration was likely to afford. And as I troll around on Twitter, especially clicking around on radical feminist feeds, etc., I'm forwarded to more and more sites and resources that throw off the same vibe. And American politics is so polarized I'm confident that unless Donald Trump has some very substantial successes, especially on the economy and jobs, he's very liable to becoming a one term president.

In any case, I read this piece at the Nation when it came out in early December, but never got around to posting it. If you check Katrina vanden Heuval's Twitter feed you'll get an idea of how febrile the radical left has become. (I'm also not discounting the possibility of political violence, but I try to put the thought of assassination out of my mind. It's just too horrifying, and I have a feeling with all the things coming down, there are some on the left who've seriously contemplated it.)

In any case, it's Eric Foner, who's now retired as a professor of history at Columbia: