ies do not, as the media portray them, merely reflect the work of fringe radicals and anarchists. Such events arise out of a broad-based coalition of students, environmentalists, unions, farmers, scientists and other concerned citizens who view the decisions made in these cabals as the frontline in the battle for the future of this planet. This is a movement in its infancy that I believe is as morally compelling as the early abolitionists fighting to end slavery in the eighteenth century; as important as the labor activists advocating workplace safety and an end to child labor in the early 1850s; as undeniable as the scientists who first alerted the American public to widespread abuse of our environment by corporate polluters. All of these movements met with overwhelming condemnation by both political parties, were ignored and then criticized by the press, while their adherents were harassed, arrested and sometimes killed by police and other agencies of the government. Italics mine. The other, more remarkable thing, is how Robbins cheerfully acknowledged to his SoCal progressive audience that he is someone who
at one time recognized all Republicans as evil incarnate.
I guess the word "evil" is appropriate now and then, eh? From the tone of that line, however, you'd think that he'd come to learn the errors of condemning half the United States as the Great Satan. Au contraire. In fact, he's pretty sure that most all the country is wearing a devil's haircut:
There was a time when I would have said that it is the "evil" Republicans who fear democracy. But the sad realization I have come to after the 2000 election, and after experiencing the reactions to our support for Nader, is that you can count the Democrats in that bunch, too.
Robbins does finally make a call to "stop demonizing people for their political affiliations" – maybe he got sensitive after one of his "kids was admonished in public" – and urges us to "follow the example" of Jim Jeffords, the party-switching senator from Vermont, and an "embodiment of politicad that it is the "evil" Republicans who fear democracy. But the sad realization I have come to after the 2000 election, and after experiencing the reactions to our support for Nader, is that you can count the Democrats in that bunch, too. Robbins does finally make a call to "stop demonizing people for their political affiliations" – maybe he got sensitive after one of his "kids was admonished in public" – and urges us to "follow the example" of Jim Jeffords, the party-switching senator from Vermont, and an "embodiment of political courage in this country."

I'm working up an essay on the Nader book, so you'll have to bear with just one last round of campaign nostalgia, and strange tie-ins to the consequentialist spasm of Sept. 12.

Posted by at February 16, 2002 11:07 AM
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