By Steven R. Maher
Historically important Worcester businessmen like Harry Stoddard and John Higgins may have earned millions as industrialists and entrepreneurs, but they never received the accolade the Wall Street Journal recently bestowed upon 1960s radical Abbie Hoffman, a Worcester native.
A WSJ December 15, 2016, column entitled “Steal This Election” by Daniel Henninger described Hoffman as a “marketing genius.” Hoffman had authored “Steal This Book.” Henninger said the Democratic party was trying to steal the 2016 election from Donald Trump the way Hoffman urged the public to steal his book. Henninger’s column can be read in its entirety at the Wall Street Journal website, http://www.wsj.com/articles/steal-this-election-1481759796.
“The progressive Democratic demonstrators that filled Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower after they lost is the same party wing that rioted in 1968 in Chicago outside their own party’s convention,” wrote Henninger. “Among the leaders of the Democratic street politicians back then was Abbie Hoffman — activist, radical, marketing genius. For Democrats of that generatio — which is the Podesta and Hillary and Bernie generation — Abbie Hoffman was their Michael Moore. Now Michael Moore is exhorting thousands of bereaved and angry Democrats to descend on Washington next month to ‘disrupt the Inauguration.’
“Most American voters become uncomfortable when they see an Abbie Hoffman or Michael Moore cavorting in the streets with the country’s politics,” continued Henninger. “Today, the effort to ‘delegitimize Trump’— with Electoral College conspiracy theories and ‘disrupt the Inauguration’— sounds like something from antic Abbie Hoffman’s ‘Steal This Book.’”
Laughed out loud
We contacted Hoffman’s brother, Jack Hoffman, who lives in Framingham and occasionally contributes political columns to InCity Times, to inquire what he thought his brother would say of the Wall Street Journal’s description.
Hoffman admitted he laughed out loud when he read the description, and went on to say, “My brother would detest anything said by the Wall Street Journal.”
Jack did talk of his brother Abbie’s knowledge of, and ability to, channel the media, to meet his objectives. He also talked of Donald Trump’s manipulation of the media, saying at one point, “I thought Trump read three of Abbie’s books.”
“It’s going to be a sad day for America when Trump becomes President,” commented Jack.