Mike Kazin in an email (published with his permission):
Perhaps you gotta be steeped in left history to get excited by this or be Joe Klein—But the only time I broke down in tears watching the big concert today was when Pete Seeger, all 89 years of him, started singing the two “radical” verses of This Land Is Your Land that almost always get cut when the song is sung in public, or in countless elementary schools across the nation (pasted below). I bet Pete was thinking, “This is the way Woody wrote it and so I’m going to make sure the whole country hears it.” How long before some right-wing blogger mentions that this song was written by a member of the
Communist Party—whose best buddy and fellow comrade made it to the Lincoln Memorial to bring it all back home?
When you add this to all the encomia to King and to Rosa Parks and to Lincoln the Emancipator—well, the left’s definition of patriotism is now dominant—only six years after anti-war posters reading, “Peace is Patriotic” sounded absurdly marginal. Change I can believe in…
“As I was walkin’ – I saw a sign there
And that sign said – no tress passin’
But on the other side …. it didn’t say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!
In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office – I see my people
And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
If this land’s still made for you and me.”