The Young Democratic Socialists handed out a flyer featuring Martin Luther King stating, "We are saying that something is wrong with capitalism, there must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a democratic socialism" -- which would shock my movement colleagues who tell me every January that MLK was a conservative Republican. . . .DeAnna perceives among young conservatives too much of a careerist focus, which tends to work against independent activism. He concludes that young conservative activists have more to learn from the Left than vice-versa.
The tendency of attendees to speak of overthrowing the "system" and in the next sentence talking about the upcoming Obama Administration is exactly how activists should think. . . . They understand that the role of activists is to push politicians towards an independently defined agenda rather than serving as cannon fodder.
Hence, a common concern of many activists was how to avoid being "co-opted" by the Democratic establishment -- even if that establishment is headed by the most liberal candidate in American history. Similarly, a comment during the civil rights panel about how any movement needs a "militant resistance" was met not with nervous glances but agreement to what all perceived to be an obvious point.
(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)