Hayden clearly sees de Blasio as a kindred spirit, exemplified by Hayden’s own turn to Democratic Party politics in California, where, for a time, he won a seat on the state Senate and seemed to be grooming himself for a national political role. Hayden hopes that his candidacy will mean the “awakening of a Left which often derides electoral politics.” His victory, he predicts, will “put progressive politics [read Marxist or socialist instead of progressive] on the central stage of national media coverage and debate,” and will help others like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, the avowed socialist senator from Vermont.
Oh, yes, and he hopes it will give The Nation magazine “much more mainstream impact in the political culture.” I would add that the magazine already has far too much, as its editor Katrina vanden Heuvel is a regular on the major TV networks, and often a position it takes editorially appears soon after in the editorial pages of the New York Times.
Hayden’s only regret is that the action-oriented anarchists would engage in working for de Blasio and not merely be content with chanting, wearing those horrendous masks, and smashing windows. Hayden, of course, forgets how many of them are undoubtedly inspired by Hayden’s own advocacy of such a course during the infamous Chicago Democratic Convention of 1968, when he led the riots and regularly incited the crowd to act and not just march.
So Hayden ends with what he hopes will be the end result of a de Blasio victory: “A new New Left is rising.”
Whether you call it the new Popular Front uniting unabashed Marxists, revolutionary activists, and liberal Democrats, as Stern does, or a “new New Left,” as Hayden does, it threatens the well-being of our entire country. We may not live in New York City, but we cannot ignore what is happening there. Joe Lhota is not running an inspiring campaign so far, and he has made mistakes. The odds against him are high, and he is likely to lose. However, he deserves whatever support conservatives outside New York City can give him.