February 25th 2020
With Bernie Sanders the front runner in the Democratic primaries (and who may cement that status with a win or a close second in South Carolina), the pearl-clutching over Sanders being a democratic socialist is reaching a fever pitch. Carville called him a communist. Chris Matthews compared his win in Nevada to the German invasion of France. Bloomberg tried calling Sanders a dictator. Trump, with no irony at all, is trumpeting that Russia wants Sanders to be president. Screams and howls permeate the blogosphere over how Bernie honeymooned in Moscow, “praised Castro” and preferred the Sandinistas to the Somoza regime.
Now, it is true that he did say that Cuba was better off than nearly all of the rest of central America, and it was—and is—an accurate summery. Even Puerto Rico—a part of the United States—is in worse condition now, thanks to Trump. And the Sandinistas, while far from perfect, were and are a huge improvement over America’s ally in that struggle, the Somoza regime, which routinely utilized mass rape and murder to try and maintain order.
But it’s enough to get all the morons and fearmongerers to screeching that he’s the next Stalin, the next Mao, the next Pathet Lao. He’ll kill millions because he’s secretly the son of Hitler and Eva Braun, or maybe he defied god and fell from heaven. Accounts vary. He’s a very, very, very bad, no good, terrible horrific demon from Transylvania … or something.
Never mind that Sanders, in over 40+ years of public service, has never been anything other than consistently a New Deal Democrat, even if running unaffiliated. He’s about as communist as FDR, or Eisenhower. (Granted, the lunatics of the far right branded both those presidents as communists as well.)
But just for shits and giggles, let’s assume that Sanders is a communist, just like Krushchev or Molotov or Boris and Natashya. He has come for your daughters and plans to sell them to large Negroes because that’s what commies do, OK?
So what can we expect from the Glorious Workers’ Revolution? Well, let’s see. There’s a wealth of literature and speculation on that. Commie invasions of America have been a favorite theme going back clear to the thirties, when the Soviet purges really got going in earnest and we got a good look at what Stalin really represented.
The Commies march in, sometimes surreptitiously, sometimes after a conspicuous event like a nuclear war, and take over. We’ll assume this was on the down-low, and they don’t want people understanding that their government just fell to a hostile power. So they keep waving the same flag, and moo the usual pseudo-patriotic noises about how Americans are the best, the strongest, the freest, and the richest people on Earth. But behind the scenes, big changes are going on.
First, there’s a campaign to disparage any negative reports that get out. News agencies are attacked as being unpatriotic, even anti-American and of lying for a vague but very sinister purpose. Loyalists to the new regime are advised earnestly that there is a segment of disloyal people who will say or do anything to take power from them, and pervert America to their own ends. The loyalists know they have truth on their side because they are the best, strongest, freest, etc., etc., and so of course the ‘others’ have to lie about everything because Truth would destroy them. And the media is part of the ‘others’ except of course for the stations sympathetic to the government. They are the only good journalists.
Meanwhile, the airwaves are flooded with lies and propaganda, a vast, bewildering panoply that makes it impossible for people to discern reality, let alone truth. But the tone, always, is Us versus Them, and Us is always good and true, and Them is weak and evil.
Specific recognizable groups are singled out. Things will be bumpy and disordered during the early days of the revolution, and it’s important to have someone to blame for any and all social problems that may arise. Laws are amended or ignored to make it easy to round up and imprison some of the target groups, and the government takes the self-evident cruelty and viciousness and calls it “strength” and “standing up for the homeland.”
Meanwhile, an assault on any power that might challenge the new regime is underway. The legislature is asked to surrender power to the leader, and if German and Russian history are any indication, will do so with a whoop and a holler. It’s just a matter of bribing the right ones and intimidating, coercing and blackmailing the rest.
An independent judiciary cannot coexist with a communist authoritarian regime. So judges are attacked, degraded, and the appointment of new judges rests with the new regime, who value loyalty to the government over any and all judicial ethics and abilities.
With many enemies, both real and imagined, and a government willing to tell them anything to the further glory of that government, people don’t notice that they are slowly losing ground, not just economically, but in their ability to travel, to read alternate news, to express opinions that don’t support the government.
A shadow government arises, usually in the form of the leader’s party. It quietly and even invisibly takes over the roles previously held by the legislatures, the judiciary, the police and the bureaucracy. Devoted only to sustaining itself, it destroys any and all dissent in draconian manners.
Slowly but implacably, the new regime envelops and subsumes the country.
In American literature, there’s usually an individual who inspire an underground army which eventually rises up and restores freedom and liberty, hurrah! Charitably, it’s part of the American mythos. Less charitably, it is just more fucking propaganda.
Now, look over my description of the revolution: rise of a leader, denigration of anyone who opposes the leader, many lies, scapegoating, destruction of other branches of government.
Isn’t that what we have NOW?
Isn’t that what Trump has been doing to us for the past three years? Just today, while canoodling with the vile nativist Modi of India, he declared that certain members of the Supreme Court should have no say in decision concerning Trump because they might be biased. The reader will be unsurprised to learn that the justices in question aren’t the two he appointed and had rammed through the Senate by his stooges. Different pair of judges.
Sanders isn’t running to impose an authoritarian and totalitarian regime on Americans.
He’s running to undo that authoritarian and totalitarian regime.
That Russian-inspired revolution already happened. It wasn’t because of Sanders; it was despite him. And he represents America’s last best chance to undo the damage done to this country by Putin and Trump.
For years, a favorite tactic of Republicans has been to accuse their opponents of any and all crimes and misdeeds that Republicans were committing. So when a Republican accuses Sanders of fostering a commie revolution, just point to Trump’s track record.
Yes, people should look at Sanders and worry about a communist-style revolution. But they shouldn’t worry about the one fabricated for them in the hysterical reports. They should worry about the one that has already happened, and ask if they can help Sanders to undo it before it’s too late.