[Highly Political & Highly Applicable to The Episcopal Church]: Re: Obama & the Crits
An interesting part of an exchange over on NRO concerning a “taxonomy” of American political liberals . . . which beautifully also describes the taxonomies of revisionist activists in TEC. I’ve excerpted a portion that ought to be, for any informed and aware conservative Episcopalian, entirely haunting and cause instant recognition—but the entire short essay is worth reading:
In the taxonomy David offers, the modern Left is made up of “pure activists” and “moderates.” I think he’s leaving out a third category, especially important because it is the one into which Obama falls: Alinsky radicals. In Bill Ayers’s terrorist incarnation, he was, I guess, what David refers to as a “pure activist.” But Alinsky looked down on him and the other Weathermen, just as much as he looked down on progressive “moderates.” On goals, Alinsky and Ayers, were on the same page, but Alinsky dismissed him as a clown because Ayers’s methods were counterproductive.
In Alinsky’s view, the only radicalism that had a chance to succeed was the one that could bore inside bourgeois institutions, co-opt the language, and move the mainstream in the radical direction — but only as fast as political conditions would allow. Remaining radical but being coldly pragmatic kept the Alinskyite both effective and viable, allowing him to keep coming back for more. Ayers eventually learned this lesson — the lesson that you can do more for the cause by running the classroom than by blowing up the classroom or occupying the campus. As Ayers himself says, he’s just as radical today as he ever was — he is no moderate progressive. But now he’s actually accomplishing things, affecting thousands of minds. To borrow the words of Van Jones, another radical Leftist turned Alinskyite, he decided “to forgo the cheap satisfaction of the radical pose for the deep satisfaction of radical ends.”
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