From Jim Jones to Ralph Nader to hating Obama
January 8, 2012. This is a true story. Only the name has been changed. Although its details are extreme “Mark’s” thought process is shared by most of the extreme left, and in a much attenuated version is widely distributed among Progressives. From what I know of the extreme right and conservatives, they are afflicted with exactly the same curse.
Mark is a kind and thoughtful person, genuinely concerned with the plight of others, which is how he became a follower of Jim Jones, who had helped integrate some schools, churches and hospitals in Indiana. Unfortunately, although very smart, Mark tends to see things in black and white. This made him an easy mark for deception, and Jim Jones, a 50’s era communist turned preacher, was a great deceiver. Luckily for Mark, he eventually got close enough to Jones to see his dark side, and fearing for his life, he escaped and hid out while Jones took his cult followers to Jonestown, Guyana.
In November 1978 U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan visited the “Peoples Temple” in Jonestown to check on complaints and was murdered along with four others. This led to a coerced mass suicide by cyanide-laced “kool-aid” in which Jones and 908 followers died, 303 of them, children. This is the worst mass murder (excluding 9/11) in US history, and it targeted idealistic progressives like Mark.
Before Jonestown, Jim Jones had gained the public support of such progressive leaders as, George Moscone, Walter Mondale, First Lady Rosalynn Carter, Willie Brown, Jerry Brown, and Harvey Milk. All of these people were nothing like Jones, but were deceived by him, and by lending him their support, they were, to some extent, discredited by him. In fact progressives have had to live with the epithet, “you drank the kool-aid,” ever since.
Now you might think Mark, who was genuinely horrified by Jones, even before Jonestown, would have been chastened by this experience and become cautious about who he followed. But personalities don’t change easily. Extremists tend to stay extreme even when they flip from one extreme to another. But Mark didn’t flip and the last I heard, he was following Ralph Nader who has done just as much damage to the progressive cause. By taking 98,000 votes in Florida, he handed George Bush the election (Gore only needed 538 votes).[F[Yes a fair recount might have saved Gore. And a bit of charisma might have, and X might have and Y too. But none of that negates the fact that if Nader had not gotten in the way, Gore would have won easily, and we would not have had the Iraq war.]F] And this was no accident; Nader hates Clinton and Gore, but had pledged to stay out of close state races. In the end, however, he couldn’t help himself and actively campaigned in Florida.
So Mark has remained an extremist. And, of course, seeing that Obama was anything but extreme, he hated him with a passion from the start. This is part of how I knew, even before the election, that the extreme “left” would turn on Obama if he were elected. These so-called-left extremists will likely join the right extremists and bring victory once again to the Republicans.