R.I.P.: Tom Hayden

A person who helped me understand the rise of the New Left and how to preserve its idealism as much as anyone. The tragedy about him was that he was never allowed to transcend his youthful years. The leftist critics don’t matter because they had less and less power over time. The reactionaries kept up the drumbeats and shrieks and however much he disowned his occasional misguided statements from decades ago (these were, after all, thoughts and convictions, not actions), made sure he was forever punished. You can’t help but feel that, on the merits alone, he would have had more political clout. A very properly detailed and prominent NY Times obit, nevertheless.

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