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America Under Barack Obama: An Interview with Nat Hentoff
John W. Whitehead
December 20, 2009
[efoods]“I try to avoid hyperbole, but I think Obama is possibly the most dangerous and destructive president we have ever had.”—Nat Hentoff
Nat Hentoff has had a life well spent, one chock full of controversy fueled by his passion for the protection of civil liberties and human rights. Hentoff is known as a civil libertarian, free speech activist, anti-death penalty advocate, pro-lifer and not uncommon critic of the ideological left.
At 84, Nat Hentoff is an American classic who has never shied away from an issue. For example, he defended a woman rejected from law school because she was Caucasian; called into a talk show hosted by Oliver North to agree with him on liberal intolerance for free speech; was a friend to the late Malcolm X; and wrote the liner notes for Bob Dylan’s second album.
A self-described uncategorizable libertarian, Hentoff adds he is also a “Jewish atheist, civil libertarian, pro-lifer.” Accordingly, he has angered nearly every political faction and remains one of a few who has stuck to his principles through his many years of work, regardless of the trouble it stirred up. For instance, when he announced his opposition to abortion he alienated numerous colleagues, and his outspoken denunciation of President Bill Clinton only increased his isolation in liberal circles (He said that Clinton had “done more harm to the Constitution than any president in American history,” and called him “a serial violator of our liberties.”).
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