Knowing the Enemy
Adolph Reed, Jr.,professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and unapologetic leftist, has the feature article in the March edition of Harper's magazine.
His theme is that the left, which seems to him to be synonymous with liberalism, has surrendered and that this is best exemplified by the the left's subordination of its principles "to the agenda of the Democratic Party whose center has moved steadily rightward since Ronald Reagan's presidency."
And although conservatives must have somehow missed it, the professor enlightens us as to the thinking within the Democrat Party. He claims that it operates under the assumption that its candidates can win elections "only by operating within a framework of political debate set by the right." Who knew.
Showing what the the mind of a true leftist (liberal) is like, Reed goes on to excoriate Barack Obama for being a compromising moderate. He writes, "Obama has been clear all along that he is not a leftist. Throughout his career he has studiously distanced himself from radical politics." As such, Reed is unfailing in his criticisms of such leftist stalwarts as The Nation magazine and Paul Krugman of the New York Times for their knee-jerk support of Obama.
From his vantage point in the ivory tower of a university, Reed believes that the left is demoralized, in decline, and collapsing. What is his solution? He says that there is only one hope, and that is to re-create a vibrant labor movement.
This is good news for the country, indeed, given the repeated set backs dealt to Labor. To highlight just some: Indiana and Michigan have enacted right-to-work laws; Scott Walker has successfully instituted labor reforms in Wisconsin; and the strength of vouchers and charter schools movement continues to grow. And just last week, the Volkswagen assembly line workers in Chattanooga repudiated an intense two-year attempt by the United Auto Worker (UAW) to organize them.
If Reed is looking for Labor to roar like it did in the 1930s and 40s and carry the leftist agenda on its back, he and his fellow travelers are in for an insufferably long wait.