Monday, September 20, 2010

Which is a more disturbing youthful experience: witchcraft or Marxism?

You know, I'll start getting worried about Christine O'Donnell having dabbled in witchcraft as a teenager when the media shows one-half the interest they've shown in that story and some of her other comments as they could in her opponent's proud proclamation at a similar age that he was a "bearded Marxist."
An article Democrat Chris Coons wrote for his college newspaper may not go over so well in corporation-friendly Delaware, where he already faces an uphill battle for Vice President Joe Biden’s old Senate seat.

The title? “Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist.”

In the article, Coons, then 21 years old and about to graduate from Amherst College, chronicled his transformation from a sheltered, conservative-minded college student who had worked for former GOP Delaware Sen. William Roth and had campaigned for Ronald Reagan in 1980 into a cynical young adult who was distrustful of American power and willing to question the American notion of free enterprise.

Coons, the New Castle County executive who is running against GOP Rep. Michael Castle for the state’s open Senate seat, wrote of his political evolution in the May 23, 1985, edition of the Amherst Student.

The source of his conversion, Coons wrote, was a trip to Kenya he took during the spring semester of his junior year—a time away from America, he wrote, that served as a “catalyst” in altering a conservative political outlook that he was growing increasingly uncomfortable with.

“My friends now joke that something about Kenya, maybe the strange diet, or the tropical sun, changed my personality; Africa to them seems a catalytic converter that takes in clean-shaven, clear-thinking Americans and sends back bearded Marxists,” Coons wrote, noting that at one time he had been a “proud founding member of the Amherst College Republicans.”
And note that after he decides that he's going to be a Marxist, the first thing he does is change his registration to the Democratic Party.

I think most candidates should be cut slack for what they did as young people. But if we're supposed to be so horrified about what O'Donnell's experiences as a young woman, let's just remember that there won't be much scope for witchy doings in the Senate, but there would be plenty of work for a shaved Marxist. Let's have the media lunge at Coons and ask him all sorts of questions about his previous beliefs and how much he still ascribes to his beliefs from his Marxist days.

She wouldn't have been my choice if I'd been voting in Delaware, but while Republicans are supposed to be so embarrassed about their nominee from Delaware, let's not forget the guy that Democrats in South Carolina nominated for their Senate candidate.

UPDATE: Doug Ross reminds us of some famous Democratic youthful dabbling.