By John Ruberry
In David Horowitz’ pamphlet Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution, the onetime leftist remarked, “An SDS radical once wrote, ‘the issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.’ In other words, the cause-whether inner city blacks or women–is never the real cause, but only an occasion to advance the real cause, which is the accumulation of power to make the revolution.”
Now the cause is police killing of blacks, but in reality the protests about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner betray the longtime anti-police sentiments of the Left since the 1960s. But that is a subject for another blog post. Today I’m going to talk about the issue.
The emergence of the New Left, which was kickstarted by the aforementioned Students for a Democratic Society, which Bill Ayers was a member of, was part of the upheaval of the late 1960s. The New Left eschewed the mainstream liberalism of Hubert Humphrey and the George Meany-led labor movement and its anti-communist bent. The Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and Women’s Liberation were the issues then. In the 1970s, the New Left’s call for action were the Watergate scandal and the environment–in the 1980s it was the No Nukes and the Nuclear disarmament causes, in the ’90s and the 2000s, the Middle East wars were the issue.
In 2011, the openly leftist Occupy Wall Street movement emerged. Not surprisingly, it collapsed.
During this time span, I’m not sure when, but let’s say it was in 2000, through attrition, death mainly, the New Left supplanted the Old Left. It is they and liberal Generation Xers and Millenials who have followed them that are the driving force in the contemporary Democratic Party as well as the labor movement. Their true views, which I imagine they share with at most twenty percent of the electorate, are masked. But their goal is still the revolution. ObamaCare, a private-public mutation that represents the worst of both worlds, is nothing but a gateway to what the libs euphemistically call “single-payer health care,” that is, socialized medicine.
When twenty percent of the economy is under government control, the rest of it will appear to the Left as low-hanging fruit.
But for now, the Left is looking to bolster its ranks by building up anti-police protests.
Until the next issue that won’t really be the issue comes along.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.