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.