United States Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, explaining a change of opinion, once wrote “I see no reason why I should be consciously wrong today because I was unconsciously wrong yesterday. ”
Life events- a serious illness, the birth of a child, the death of a loved one can cause people to reverse their trajectory. It happens. People do change their minds. When faced with new information, it's what you expect thoughtful and intelligent people to do. Its not a sign of moral or intelligent weakness to admit error and change course.
In the political area, you just can’t help but question the motivation behind an abrupt about face. Does it represent a sincere change in analysis, or is it simply political expediency, or worse, graft?
Roseanne Barr will be speaking in Berkeley next month. Her talk is entitled “Israel, the Jews and me”. Roseanne Barr’s record of political activism is inconsistent and unconventional, to say the least.
In 2008 , Roseanne wrote on her blog, referring to the Gaza flotilla: “I said Israel will attack any boat carrying doctors and medical supplies--they have turned away the red cross already and all medical and food assistance. Israel is a NAZI state. The Jewish Soul is being tortured in Israel. The destruction of the jews in Israel has been assured with this inhuman attack on civilians in gaza. Hamas is the street gangs---this is equivilent to los angeles attacking and launching war on the people of watts to attempt to kill the bloods and the crips.”
In 2012, Roseanne ran for president on the Peace and Freedom ticket, after losing the Green Party nomination. She chose anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan as her running mate. The platform included marijuana legalization, environmental preservation, ending the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and equal rights. She declared “Cindy and I are the ‘Throw the Bums Out’ ticket and the ‘Ballot Access’ ticket. The American people are sick and tired of this ‘lesser evil’ garbage they get fed every election year.. Both the Democrats and the Republicans do the same evils once they’re in office… I’m here to tell the voters: if you want to tell the government and the two domineering parties that you’re sick and tired of all their evil, register in the Peace and Freedom Party and vote for me and Cindy.”
The choice of Cindy Sheehan was an interesting one. Cindy was reportedly mentored and housed in Berkeley by Stephen Pearcy and Virginia Johnson, married attorneys, slumlords and 1% ers who made a name for themselves by showing up at anti-Israel rallies with grotesque anti-American and anti-Israel imagery. Stephen Pearcy was often seen carrying the flag of the terror groups, Hezbollah and Hamas.
Sheehan bought into the Pearcys Svengalian coaching hook line and sinker. She was once reported saying, “Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a PNAC Neo-Con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the army to protect America, not Israel.”. After the subsequent uproar, she denied the outburst.
I’ll be going to see Roseanne next month, because I’m curious about her transition. How did she emerge from hob-nobbing with anti-Israel activists and buying into worldwide Zionist conspiracy mindset, to effectively advocating for Israel on social media? If her conversion is sincere, it may provide insight into how to reach other members of the progressive community.