Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I have known a few Communists in my time. The worst of them are the unrepentant ones, still aglow from the 1960s and 70s when the college campuses and streets were filled with protesters of every description. Others have unhappy memories of the FBI keeping track of them. The best of them had an epiphany at some point in their lives and realized that they truly were, as Lenin called them, “useful idiots.”
I have a tenuous link with one of them, Mark Rudd, because he grew up in the town where I lived most of my life and even attended the high school from which I had graduated ten years earlier. Maplewood, New Jersey had been, in my time, a solidly Republican community, a bedroom town for New York executives who caught the train every morning for the commute.
That began to change imperceptivity as young Democrats began to move in during the Kennedy years and thereafter. In time they gained political control and many of my generation, thanks to ever rising property taxes, began to move to Florida or, in my case, one town over to a new apartment complex.
Once years ago while I was in the bank in Maplewood, I ran into Mark Rudd. We exchanged a few pleasantries, but nothing memorable. By then he was no longer a fugitive from the FBI for having been one of the leaders of the infamous Weather Underground, a group that included Barack Obama’s longtime friend and associate, Bill Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dorhn.
Though he didn’t directly participate, Rudd knew of a Weather Underground plot to plant bombs at an officer’s club at Fort Dix in 1970 to protest the Vietnam War. When the bombs instead went off in the New York townhouse, killing several of his friends, Rudd concluded that dying senselessly while planning to kill others for a “righteous” cause was not the way he wanted to end up.
Just ask any of the Vietnamese who were lucky enough to escape and to come to America after the fall of Saigon how they feel about his righteous cause. To this day they embrace the veterans who fought there and the nation that took them in and granted them its precious citizenship.
Rudd, however, is an unrepentant communist. His friend, Bill Ayers, has referred to himself as “A communist with a small ‘c’” as if that makes a difference. It doesn’t.
The shooting in Tucson roused Rudd to pen an opinion published in the Jan. 16 Washington Post. It was titled “An ex-Weather Underground radical on the Tucson shootings and political violence.” He recalled that, in 1970 when he was 22 years old, he knew of the plot “and to my eternal shame, I didn’t try to stop it.” Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
“I considered myself an agent of necessity in a political revolution”, wrote Rudd and then added that, even if Jared Loughner was insane, Rudd was sure “he convinced himself that he was doing what needed to be done.”
This is Rudd’s great insight. It is a conclusion that only someone on the farthest reaches of the Left could arrive. It is the conclusion of someone who had decided to devote himself to the nihilistic, atheistic, and totalitarian dogma of the Left.
“As the Weather Underground believed in the absolute necessity of bombs to address actual moral grievances such as the Vietnam War and racism,” wrote Rudd, “Loughner might have believed in the absolute necessity of a Glock to answer his imagined moral grievances.”
For Rudd it was not hard to come up with “moral grievances” when he was in his twenties and his “guerilla hero” was Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, a notorious killer of Fidel Castro’s political opponents. There was nothing heroic about Guevara. He was a psychopath for whom the Cuban communist revolution was just an excuse to indulge his murderous fantasies.
There are somewhere around eighty to ninety million Americans who own guns without coming to the conclusion they have a moral right to use them to kill for any other reason than self-defense.
After the Tucson shooting, the local citizens could not get to the gun stores fast enough to buy guns for their own protection. After Barack Obama was elected, many Americans decided they needed a gun.
Rudd is like many former youthful revolutionary wannabes of the 1970’s with fantasies of changing America to become a new worker’s paradise. These days, decades later, he is married and the father of two children. An article on his website says he is a registered Democrat, but usually votes for the Greens.
After surrendering to the FBI in 1977, he faced only misdemeanor charges. He was fined $2,000 and spent two years on probation. His mother famously asked, “How could you do this to me?”
In 2006-2008, Rudd was a leader of the Movement for a Democratic Society, a network based on his days in the Students for a Democratic Society. Rudd is still a communist along with Ayers, Dohrn, and Jeff Jones, a former Obama “czar” who resigned when people found out.
In 2008, three MDS members, Tom Hayden, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Bill Fletcher, Jr., founded Progressives for Obama, which Rudd endorsed.
The sad part of this is that the Washington Post thought his commentary was worth publishing.
He repeated the calumny against Sarah Palin that she rightly deemed “a blood libel.” Moronically, Rudd concluded that though Loughner was “the product of a different era and may have been motivated only by his madness” his anticipated incarceration will give him “a long time to consider the logic of his alleged actions.”
Insanity defies logic. That’s why it’s called insanity!
Rudd has had over forty years to consider the logic of his commitment to communism and has not arrived at a conclusion that he was ever wrong or that communism is a failed system that exists only through coercion and terror.
He and his friends from the 1970s surely took pleasure in the election of President Obama who was mentored in his youth by Frank Marshall Davis, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party U.S.A.
The spontaneous Tea Party movement devoted to the Constitution and the repeal of Obamacare must be a mystery to Rudd.
As his generation passes from the scene, one can only hope that a new generation of young Americans, passing through a period comparable to the Great Depression do not embrace the communism that many of that earlier era thought was the answer to capitalism.
It wasn’t then. It isn’t now. Liberty, the reason for the American Revolution, is the answer and always will be.
© Alan Caruba, 2011