Tom Hayden is an interesting case. While defending his position as a
Gore delegate, he was on the streets of LA with the protesters, where
his son, Troy, was one of those shot by a rubber bullet and chose to be
with the protesters when Gore was giving his acceptance speech. I have
suggested before that Hayden desperately wants to regain his credentials
as a movement activist, but I now I suspect that its a bit more
complicated than that and that Hayden's role at the convention was to
act as a pacifier. Or perhaps, this description of him in today's SF
Chronicle (8/19) is inaccurate:
"State Sen. Tom Hayden was in the crowd outside the Staple Center
Thursday night, trying to keep the peace among the rowdier members of
the crowd." (We do know that Hayden went to Oregon to keep the
anarchists from doing what he was doing or advocating back in '68.)
"You have on the streets of Los Angeles living evidence of an active
counterculture," Hayden said. "The next wave of liberals in the
Democratic Party, if ever, will come from the street demonstration and
the Nader people." (Think about the implications of that quote.)
On August 16, Amy Goodman of Pacifica's Democracy Now interviewed Tom
Hayden, and, in the midst of his complaining about the police treatment
of the NY delegates, Amy
sprung a question on him.
Amy: Tom Hayden. Are you a Gore delegate?
Hayden: I am. I was elected to...ummmm.. support Al Gore. I think he's
better than Bush. Let's leave it at that, and I was also elected to
raise my voice. And I found that's much more important since there's
plenty of people for Gore, that some of us stand up for
rank and file
Democrats who can't stand this move to the center,
betrayals of trade
policies, health care--they say we can't afford it--but
can afford Star Wars and all the rest of it.
Amy: Let me just ask one thing. Would you have been a Gore supporter
Hayden: Ummmm. If Gore was Humphrey.
Amy: You think he is better.
Hayden: Oh yeah. I mean it goes like this. between... it goes like
this. You have
very tough choices. I
think that Gore is
better than Bush and I think that Gore should spend less time
complaining about the Playboy Club and more time complaining about other
people's mansions. He should spend less time having surrogates attack
Ralph Nader and he should be addressing the issues of Ralph Nader, but
that's not what's going on here. What's going on here is the
continuation of a long story of a secretive police department defending
the status quo..."
As if that status has nothing to do with Mr. Gore.
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