In a nutshell, along with his anti-capitalism, Marxism, and anti-white racism, Jones' big idea is that we should knock down our prisons and create green jobs by having the nation's murderers and rapists come over to caulk our windows.
Jones describes U.S. prisons as "slave ships on dry land," a "punishment industry" that's disproportionately victimizing people of color and profiting from America's ongoing "racist war."
In any case, Jones' green-justice idea is to "build a pipeline from the prison economy to the green economy," an innovative solution that allows us to simultaneously achieve several major goals. The "historical victims" trade in their AK-47s for caulking guns, the piggy public uses less energy, the polar bears get back their non-melting ice, and the abused occupants of the land-based slave ships will get out from behind bars and be pocketing a public sector "living wage" by applying weatherstripping from a nonprofit government factory.
As Investor's Business Daily points out, Jones may not have been truly original in coming up with this scheme: "In his 2006 memoir, President Obama proposed government-subsidized green jobs 'to hire and train ex-felons on projects' such as 'insulating homes and offices to make them energy-efficient.' Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who worked with Jones in California as a congresswoman, has already put such plans into motion."
Jones explains that it was in the aftermath of the Rodney King riots in California that he became a communist. As he told the East Bay Express in 2005: "I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28 (1992), and then the verdicts came down on April 29. By August, I was a communist."
In the same interview, Jones explains how he developed a soft spot for felons, the future weatherstrippers of America: "I met all these young radical people of color — I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And I was, like, 'This is what I need to be a part of.' I spent the next 10 years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary."
And so we ended up with a self-described red as a "green czar," a special adviser to the president, set to distribute some $30 billion or so of our tax dollars in ways that he determines would save the world from an Earth-killing capitalist system.
Jones outlined his strategy for a green and collectivist utopia last year during an interview with leftist Uprising Radio in Los Angeles: "The green economy will start off as a small subset" of a "complete revolution" against "gray capitalism" and toward a "redistribution of all wealth."
And how's the mundane caulking of windows fit in? It's just the way to get Van Jones into the White House as a "czar" of something that sounds nice — a way to get guys like Abu-Jamal back on the street with our money in their wallets, ready to do some real community organizing on a grand scale.
In one of his more honest moments, Jones explains the ruse, the use of "green" as a deceptive maneuver to destroy the existing American system: "We are going to push it and push it until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society."
Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.