Is civil rights icon and Democratic Rep. John Lewis now considered an "old school liberal" because he defended former Vice President Joe Biden’s comments regarding segregationists? Well, maybe. The political winds indicate that modern-day progressives will see Rep. Lewis as out-of-touch after his comments today defending Biden. All Lewis did was explain he “never gave up” on his fellow man, even in the face of extreme hatred. Unfortunately for the Georgia representative, a previous episode from a 2011 Occupy Atlanta rally might inform Lewis that the Democratic Party of the late 20th century and early 21st century is dead and gone with no time for “bipartisan understanding" according to the 'new left.'
Presidential candidate and fellow Democratic Sen. Cory Booker slammed the former Vice president for using his legislative relationship with segregationists as an example for how to operate in politics and work with people, even if you disagree on key principles.
Today, Rep. Lewis of the “Freedom Riders," who at one point in his youth was beaten, jailed, and verbally abused for his stance on desegregation and his desire for equal rights amongst black people, told the media that Biden’s remarks were simply a reflection of reality.
"I don't think the remarks are offensive. During the height of the civil rights movement, we worked with people and got to know people that were members of the klan...We never gave up on our fellow human being,” the congressman said outside Capitol Hill.
For most normal Americans this is a welcoming remark and to paraphrase, it can be seen as an appeal to our country's better angels. "Never giving up on our fellow human being" is a message that if more people put into practice, would probably make the country a better place.
However, Rep. Lewis does not seem to understand a key component about what the "new left," as Biden describes them, believes in.
Nowadays, the new left is not interested in finding common ground. They are interested in winning at all costs and furthering the social justice mindset.
Rep. Lewis should know this better than anybody, the early beginnings of this "new left" came into fruition during the Occupy Wall Street era.
In 2011, Rep. Lewis tried to show solidarity with Occupy Atlanta and the national group of socialists angry at everybody including the government known as "Occupy Wall Street." As reported by the New York Daily News, the crowd, via direct democracy, forbade the American hero from speaking simply because he was an American government official.
via New York Daily News:
In the video, the crowd is seen voting not to let Lewis speak because he is a government figure.
Lewis seemed the least perturbed by the incident and said he just wanted to support the group. He is seen respectfully leaving the protest after they denied him a chance to speak.
"I was going to say, I stand with you," Lewis told CBS Atlanta after the incident. "I support you, what you're doing."
It was a truly head-scratching moment but signified that the left was moving towards a binary philosophy of absolute agreement with an increasingly radical movement, or risk being treated like a leper no matter your political bona fides.
Now, Occupy Wall Street has all but hijacked the Democratic Party via demands for Democratic Socialism. With this, the new leaders want party purging. Their current target seems to be Biden. Will Rep. Lewis be next since he the lent the Democratic presidential primary frontrunner his support?