Since some people liked my earlier post called “8 Things I Wish I’d Known (or Remembered) When I Was a Leftist,” I’ve written a sequel of sorts, about the valuable lessons I did learn back then.
None of this is deep or profound (except maybe some stuff I quote from other people) but these insights have stood me in good stead during my time here on “the other side.”
#5: Cops have to give you their badge number
OK, so that makes me sound tougher than I was/am. Unlike a lot of my former friends, I never had the guts to get arrested for civil disobedience.
(Note: we were NOT those masked guys you see smashing up the Starbucks at G20s. Violence was a no-no, even when it was swirling around us, like during the riot that capped off the 1988 Unconvention.)
However, I picked up some practical information about lawyers, jail and similar miscellany, not all of which was unsavory. Siding with Poland’s Solidarity made us the enemies of every “progressive” (read: pro-Soviet) group in town; it also taught me how a movement goes from grassroots to government, while striving to stay true to transcendent principles. (Tea Partiers, take notes.)
Look: while I don’t share Abbie Hoffman’s motives, Steal This Book nevertheless includes sound tips on, for example, choosing shotguns for home defense. The laws of ballistics, and of the universe in general, are operative whatever your political leanings.
Facts are facts, even if they’re being spouted by a hippie. The key (and frequently forgotten) word is “facts.” Take what’s true and useful from every source.
(And I have had occasion to demand a badge number recently, come to think of it…)