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The Left Loves Losers

Posted 3/10/2010

Critics of the tea baggers inevitably mock their fascination and self-identification with the Founding Fathers of the United States. Given the average tea bagger's grasp of history, the disdain the Founding Fathers would possess for the average tea bagger, and the tea bagger's dependency on the government they proclaim to fear, derision is appropriate. Forgotten in the mocking of the tea baggers is the benefit of their lust all things "Founding Fatherish" in that they have embraced men who, despite their flaws, were successful and bequeathed a legacy of achievement substantial enough to motivate Americans centuries later to fight and die to protect it.

In contrast, as the article on Laura Whitehorn ("Laura Whitehorn," Books, Feb. 24), demonstrates, the American Left scrapes the dregs of history for inspiration and heroes. Let me review the most important fact of the Weather Underground Organization. They utterly failed. It's only because of the right-wing's conversion of Billy Ayers from forgotten revolutionary-turned-government employee to rhetorical club for use against Obama that most Americans have any knowledge of the WUO. Traditionally, role models and sources of inspiration have to achieve a success before people emulate them, something the American Left needs to remember. Nobody likes a loser.

Perhaps if the WUO had had a political program that addressed the concerns of the average American, they would have never been forced to employ terrorism to achieve their goals. If the WUO had even been able to articulate any agenda beyond vague proclamations about "revolution," they might have been able to mobilize more support for their shock doctrine strategy of bombings and "Days of Rage." Ultimately, the failure of the WUO to create a political platform palatable to the average American drove them into margins of American society and into irrelevance. Their use of violence merely confirmed it. The average American realizes that popular people get elected and support without resorting to violence. Even the dimmest tea bagger can tell you Barack Obama did not have to use a single bomb to secure power.

Whitehorn's complaints about the double standards facing leftists who employ violence to further their political agenda are equally baseless. Shortly after the collapse of the WUO, anti-Yugoslav émigrés began terrorist campaigns. They were condemned in the media as "crazy," "terrorist," and "thugs," despite waging war against a Communist state. The American government rounded them up and threw them in prison and demanded that foreign governments do the same.

If the Left insists upon a "revolutionary chic," I recommend the Founding Fathers. Despite their flaws, many of their ideas fit nicely with the Left's beliefs, even those of radicals such as Bill Ayers and Laura Whitehorn. The society they created, and we have improved upon, is also acceptable to them. After all, it is not language barriers, onerous paperwork requirements, or the need to care for elderly parents that keeps them in the United States. They live here because American society is generally good and better than most.

Matthew Hood

Keep Heart's Place Alive

Recently, you wrote an article on Heart's Place Shelter which advised the community of this facility in Charles Village ("The Mean Season," Mobtown Beat, Feb. 17). The shelter is next door to my home and represents a place where people of all races, young and old, can find a place to escape from the perils of Baltimore's streets. This shelter is operated by a Ms. Carol Berman, who I consider to be "wonder woman," in that she has run the shelter since 1988. She needs help keeping the doors open and she needs it now.

I have attempted to get money from the city, from neighbors, and from anyone listening, because if the shelter closes due to lack of funds, innocent people will be left on the streets of Baltimore without any place to go. Please contribute to Heart's Place Shelter at 2640 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, Maryland. We do and will continue to do so, but it isn't enough to keep the shelter open, and lives are at stake here if the shelter closes.

Christian H. Wilson

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