“You can’t completely trust anyone who’s not a communist,” says Jim Crotty.
No you can’t — except one is often inclined to let the trust extend a generation down. Case in point: A. Hiring A. was, for better or worse, probably my biggest single contribution to the Working Families Party in my five years there. But the guy was a puzzle — his vibe was pure corporate-pragmatic — “we don’t really believe our own propaganda, do we?” he’d say — and yet he’d left a successful and presumably lucrative career in business (he’d been, inter alia, general counsel at the teen clothing chain Delia’s) to do grunt work in left-wing politics. And he was good at it!
So, a puzzle. So one day, driving back from Albany, E.B. and I started asking him about his background, where his politics came from. And come to find out, A.’s father was a Chilean communist, who’d fled the country after the coup against Allende. We looked at each other as if to say: Well, now it makes sense.
(EDIT: Names changed to abbreviations because these folks still work in politics and possibly don’t want to be outed as crypto-commies. Lame, I know.)