Monday, October 24, 2016

Honorable man down

Tom Hayden, who died Sunday, did with his life what I often fault members of my activist generation for failing to do. Instead of flailing at the margins, or launching off into leftist flights of fantasy, he dove into the real politics of power in California and tried to implement what he could of what his values demanded. The results were frustrating and imperfect; that's politics. Meanwhile he continued to try to express and explain values that sometimes took him away from the mainstream, consistantly opposing U.S. military adventures. Leftists often found him as frustrating as did the right; as recently as last spring he announced in the Nation magazine that his long-held commitment to empowering the African American community required him to endorse Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. Many who remembered him howled.

There was a complicated integrity in Hayden's life. May we all do so well.


Anonymous said...

I always admired Hayden. Saddened to read about his death this morning. He was still young, in my book, anyway.

tina a Lebanese in Beirut said...

Honorable because he recognized his mistakes

Hattie said...

Not as enthused as many by him, but I do get a kind of end of the era feeling as I read of his demise. He was younger than me!

janinsanfran said...

Tina: I had forgotten that Hayden article. I can testify that if you wanted to run for dogcatcher in urban California in the 80s, 90s, maybe the 00s, you were carefully vetted by the Israel lobby. People who hadn't a clue found themselves required/threatened about matters about which they knew nothing. I think the Lobby is no longer so potent, though I am that many pretend they are. Younger people see an entirely different reality, thank goodness.

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