It has been said that hell is a place where there is no reason. Assuming some truth applies to this, I spent almost two hours in hell this past Tuesday night when I attended “An Evening with Bill Ayers & Cindy Sheehan” at the Evanston Public Library.
A stone’s throw away from the Northwestern undergraduate campus, the former terrorist and anti-war activist met a group of approximately 60, most of whom were thirsty for the vileness their radical heroes would spew. I was one of the 60, armed with a camera and the disgusted feeling that I was missing Charles Krauthammer’s response to the president’s Oval Office speech on Fox News.
Accompanying these cretins in their jaded ideological horror-show was self-avowed communist Sunsara Taylor, organizer for “World Can’t Wait,” a radical leftist group whose mission statement seeks (still!) “to repudiate and stop the fascist direction initiated by the Bush Regime.” Needless to say, the former president’s name was brought up often, a telling reminder of where our current president gets his cues in playing the blame game.
Still, the focus of the evening was on Ayers, who appeared to be the only panelist capable of stringing a fluid sentence together. (Sheehan acted as if she just woke from a drug-induced nap, and Taylor’s noxious rants about the evils of America and virtues of communism seemed to scare the already-liberal crowd.) Ayers insisted with regret and disappointment that Obama is “moderate,” “pragmatic,” and “compromising,” hardly the radical for which many had hoped. Apparently the president’s leftist-laced agenda and alienation of most of the citizenry is not enough for the man who once bombed the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol.
Responding to my question about the Gaza flotilla incident, Ayers tersely responded that the U.S. response was “shameful.” I thought to myself: Could my question have instantly converted Ayers into a pro-Israeli activist, rightfully believing that the administration had failed by not offering its full support for the tiny Jewish nation? Sarcasm aside, he predictably remarked that he was appalled that our government did not denounce the Israeli response outright. A vocal supporter of the “Free Gaza Movement,” Ayers continued his rant, emphasizing that “Palestinians are disrespected and told that they’re dirt every day, in every way, so where’s the outrage there?” No word on whether or not he thinks Jews should “go home” to Germany or Poland.
Here’s the video:
Unfortunately, none of the discourse was worthy of lead-headline status on the Drudge Report. There were no calls for Israel’s elimination, or for the U.S. military to disband, or for George W. Bush to be executed for war crimes. Ayers never conceded that he and the president were more than just neighbors, or that he still has contact with the White House. But after listening to the illogical dribble — hollow platitudes about social justice and amorphous references to “the movement” — it became clear that these admissions were unnecessary. Sure, they would have validated my missing Krauthammer, but we know who these people are; we know the danger they represent. We don’t need another headline to tell the story.
During a particularly far-reaching rant, Ayers stopped himself mid-sentence, and offered some cover for his commentary: “I wasn’t born a radical,” he assured the crowd, “it just seems that way.” And so ended my hellish evening with Bill Ayers.