Like the dog that finally catches the car, the radicals have become the establishment. Those free-wheeling students of the '60s - fighting "the man," bombing government buildings, burning draft cards - now work for that government and are counting the days when they'll receive their taxpayer-funded pension and retiree health care.
In fact, the radicals of the 1960s are now pushing retirement age, wrapping up careers that saw them control so much of American society -- the news media, academia, government bureaucracy and Hollywood. When Obama told audiences during the 2008 campaign that "We are the change we've been waiting for," it must have been an unsettling realization for these radicals, and likely triggered an existential crisis for some of them.
In my research of the left, I've gone down a few rabbit trails. I visited New Orleans and talked to Wade Rathke, a few months before the ACORN tree came crashing down. I met Frances Fox Piven in New York and interviewed her about a range of things at her home. (I've never met a socialist with a doorman before.) I wrote about the radical Jack Gerson, an SDS alum now influential in the Oakland, CA teachers union.
Which led me to Fred Klonsky. Klonsky, along with his brother Mike, were leaders of Students for a Democratic Society. Fred now is living comfortably as a public school teacher and union leader in the upscale Park Ridge community in suburban Chicago. Mike was reportedly lauded by Mao Zedong for his work spreading communism throughout the United States.
My organization, Education Action Group, suspected Klonsky could be using his school district e-mail account for inappropriate purposes. So we submitted a Freedom of Information request for all the e-mails sent from his school account. According to Illinois state law, e-mails of government employees are considered public records.
Seemed routine. Until Klonsky became unhinged. Perhaps life as a public school art teacher is too sedate for this aging radical. Or maybe that abnormal gene that causes one to join the radical SDS and cavort with communists kicked in. Whatever the reason, Klonsky went ape on EAG.
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