I recently took a glance at Michelle Goldberg’s author page at the New York Times, and could not help but notice her rising existential rage at the state of the nation. She is mad that right-wingers are taking critics to court over libel. She also does not care for calls for “civility,” feeling that the apparent plethora of right-wing violence is the real problem. The column she wrote after that one bears the unsubtle title, “We Can Replace Them.” Disconcertingly, the column after that one bears an equally unsubtle title, “Rise of the Armed Left.” When somebody explicitly writes about wanting to replace the other side, and then follows it up by writing about how their side is increasingly armed, I raise an eyebrow. Just before the midterm election, she asked if America can be “saved.” On election night, the Democrats did okay, but the much pined for “blue wave” certainly never materialized. Presumably, Ms. Goldberg [email her] is greatly perturbed by this, and interestingly, as of this writing, she has not written a post-election column. Scanning further back in her archive, there are almost a dozen columns spewing righteous rage about Brett Kavanaugh.
It brought to mind Ulrike Meinhof. Meinhof (right) was a liberal college student in West Germany in the 1950s who became increasingly radical with each passing year, joining the then-illegal Communist Party in 1959. In the 1960s, she became a prominent Leftist columnist, and as is easily tracked by her columns, continued her leftward march. Two noteworthy milestones came in two different 1968 columns. In one, she approvingly quoted an American Black Power activist who said, “Protest is when I say I don’t like this and that. Resistance is when I see to it that things that I don’t like no longer occur.” [From Protest to Resistance, kronket, May 1968] In another, she made the case that the very existence of legalized dissent via freedom of the press and freedom of speech was perhaps part of the problem, since it could lead to people thinking they lived in a free society in which change could be enacted, when that might not really be the case. [Columnism, kronket, 1968]
In 1970, Meinhof co-founded the Red Army Faction (RAF), a Marxist terrorist group comparable to America’s Weatherman. RAF managed some killings, kidnappings, and bombings throughout the early ‘70s, and for her role in it all, Meinhof was arrested and imprisoned in 1972. In 1976, before her trial reached its end, she killed herself.
Do I mean to suggest that Michelle Goldberg is on her way to become a 21st century American Ulrike Meinhof? No. That would quite partisan and bombastic, and I am not a partisan or bombastic guy. In fact, if I had lived in Germany in 1964, when the picture above was taken, I would have absolutely refused the partisan and bombastic urge to suggest that some random Leftist columnist would go on to become a deadly terrorist in just a few years.