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View Diary: Meet the extremist left - a preview and call for volunteers (269 comments)

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  •  Actually, I AM An Extreme Leftist (12+ / 0-)

    I was born in '49.  I'm senior editor at an "alternative" biweekly, Random Lengths News, where I work to write news from a community perspective, informed by history and science.  (We live in what's called the "Diesel Death Zone"--a term once only used by hardcore environmental activists, but uttered today, at conference she called, by LA City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, your typical mainstream Democratic politician, who was simply citing the relevant scientific statistics.)

    My heroes are folks like Martin Luther King, Jr., a pacifist and democratic socialist.  Eugene V. Debs, ditto.  Albert Einstein, ditto--until Hitler came along (an exception I, too would make, which is why I don't call myself a pacifist, though I am an advocate of nonviolence).  Sojourner Truth, abolitionist and feminist pioneer. Frederick Douglass, the last honest Republican.  With heroes like these, I am, quite naturally, on the extreme left.

    I was lucky enough to come of age a time when two ancient struggles came to fruition--the struggles of blacks and women to be free of treatment as legally designated second-class citizens.  The equality they gained (in theory, practice is still a work in progress) is now taken for granted.  But it was traditionally (for centuries in one case and millenia in the other) regarded as not just an extremist position, but downright wacko at best,  dangerously subversive at a minimum, and probably the work of the devil.

    And so I am quite comfortable to think of myself as still being an extemist, downright wacko at best,  dangerously subversive at a minimum, and probably in league with the devil.  Gay marriage?  It's a done deal. You folks just don't realize it yet.  That's not even an issue.

    But I'm a minority here at DKos.  Which is fine.  People like me will always be a minority.  Our job is not to make everyone else like us.  It is to make them more like themselves.  To stir their consciences. To pass on some uncomfortable, even dangerous truths. And then to help folks get comfortable with being uncomfortable, to expand their resilience as Anna Devare Smith put it so well on Now last night.

    So I don't spend much time here preaching to people about the need for revolution.  Because I think revolution is too small a goal.  I do talk some about Enlightenment.  But more, I try to infect folks with a hunger for it.

    And you know what?  It's perfectly fine with me that lots of folks who have that hunger are nowhere near as radical as me.  Because we need diverse perspectives to check ourselves, to illuminate our blind spots for us, to challenge us to think more deeply, more rigorously, more compassionately, more fairly.

    Right now, our collective job is to bring our country back from the brink of self-destructive madness.  And it doesn't take a radical to see this.  Former Nixon strategist Kevin Phillips does the job just fine.  I have no problem making common cause with folks like him, or John Dean.  I may have long-term visions quite different from them.  But I live in the here and now.  And I believe that arc of the universe is long, but that it bends towards justice.  It's my job to remember that, deep in my bones, and do my part towards that end.

    You can call me a "Star Trek Socialist", but I know it will take time for the future I see to come. And for a future beyond that I cannot even imagine.  I believe in that future--the one I cannot even imagine--because I believe in the human race. And that makes me a radical.

    So, I'm the boogie man you've come to find here.  And I vote.

    Next question?

    p.s. Or better yet, why don't you assign me to write the story for you, freelance?  Because I've done that before, too. Written for the Christian Science Monitor, the Denver Post, Publishers Weekly, the Dallas Morning News.

    •  You caught me (0+ / 0-)

      Because we need diverse perspectives to check ourselves, to illuminate our blind spots for us, to challenge us to think more deeply, more rigorously, more compassionately, more fairly.

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