The Differences Between Marxism-Leninism And Chuck-And-Nancy-Ism Are... ? Wait, Is This A Trick Question?By Don Feder
Here are a few quotes from a response to Donald Trump's first State of the Union Address:
Here are a few quotes from a response to Donald Trump's first State of the Union Address:
• "Trump offered no constructive solutions to addressing social and economic inequality, health care and education needs... and the planetary emergency posed by climate change and the growing nuclear war danger."
• "Instead of embracing values most of us hold dear... caring for one another, family, community, fairness, tolerance, peace and protection of the environment" Trump and the Republican Congress are "working overtime to take us back 100 years."
• "Trump is using lies and fake populism to hide the real aim of his policies – enriching the (dreaded) one percent and himself."
• Tax cuts "are a scam for the rich."
If you think they're from the official Democratic response to the State of the Union, you're not far off the mark. They were part of a speech by John Bachtell, the national chair of the Communist Party USA, as reported in People's World.
But they sound so mainstream for the Democratic Party of the 21st. century – so Schumer, so Pelosi, so Elizabeth Warren. "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from man to pig again: but already it was impossible to say which was which."
Although both parties would call such observations libelous, increasingly, it's impossible to avoid the comparisons.
I'm not talking about the Democratic Party of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy, but the post-1972 Democratic Party, after the takeover by radicals who came of age in the 1960s and were nurtured on the theories of Herbert Marcuse and Saul Alinsky. When New Left icon Tom Hayden (who spent his last years as a Democrat member of the California legislature) died in 2017, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted, "A political giant and a dear friend has passed."
That Hayden, Maxine Waters, Bernie Sanders, (Abu) Keith Ellison, and Barbara Lee are now mainstream, speaks volumes of the party's ideological drift, as does the fact that Dianne Feinstein is considered too low-key and stodgy.
This year, millions of unsuspecting voters will cast their ballots for communists calling themselves Democrats. The similarities run far and deep:
1. Vanguard of the proletariat – But the definition of proletariat keeps shifting. For communists, workers of the world failed miserably as fodder for the revolution. Decades of rhetoric notwithstanding, they refused to rise up and cast off their proverbial chains. As Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci writing in the 1920s noted, the left would have to find a new proletariat, based on race, gender and sexual lifestyles (so-called). The Democrats are trying to forge one out of racial minorities, single women, homosexuals, illegal immigrants and others they imagine to be downtrodden.
2. Class warfare – For reds, it was the capitalists – those bloated plutocrats sucking the lifeblood of the workers. For Democrats, it's "the 1%", who they charge are responsible for the inequality which drives our misery. In reality, the 1% drive innovation, jobs and wealth creation (and pay more in taxes than anyone else). But Democrats know how to punish the 1% (and shoot the economy in both feet in the process) – higher and more progressive taxes, stifling regulations and raising the cost of energy into the stratosphere.
3. Income redistribution – In the words of Winston Churchill, capitalism leads to unequal sharing of prosperity, while "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery." Shared misery is the Democrats' real agenda.
4. Anti-democratic – Communists like the trappings of democracy but hate the reality: They like elections (single party), presidents (for life), and constitutions (whose guarantees are always ignored). Even semantics is corrupted. Communist East Germany was called the German Democratic Republic. The party that calls itself Democratic is willing to accept the outcome of any election it wins. Otherwise, it's: "The result would have been far different except for Russian meddling, the suppression of minority voting and lopsided campaign spending." Even before Trump took office, the so-called Resistance Movement started. What they are ultimately resisting is the outcome of a democratic election whose results they can't accept. Resisting a president's agenda is part of the process; refusing to accept his legitimacy is a denial of popular sovereignty.
5. Propaganda/Indoctrination – What need have the Dems for Pravda and political commissars, when they have CNN, MSNBC, NYT, Hollywood, public education, academia, etc., etc.
6. Speech Suppression – In North Korea, you and your extended family can be sent to a prison camp indefinitely for saying the wrong things. In the land of the free, we have various thought-crimes (hate crimes), punishable by ruinous fines (for refusing to affirm gay "marriage"), loss of employment, public humiliation, and being barred from expressing your views in certain forums (like the college campus). The communists at least were honest: We're punishing you for speaking your mind, they admitted. ("Right thinking will be rewarded, wrong thinking punished.") The Democrats are disingenuous – You're being punished for violating non-discrimination statutes, for expressing ideas that make certain groups uncomfortable, and for rhetoric that could (theoretically) promote violence.
7. Demonizing Opponents – For communists (and fascists), sinister motives were imputed to opponents. You were an enemy of the people, an exploiter of the masses, a race-traitor – a Jew. For Democrats, the favored pejoratives are: racist, sexist, homophobe (hetero-sexist), a "deplorable," a product of "toxic masculinity," a "typical white male," a "privileged white person," a colonialist (or neo-colonialist), a Zionist, an Islamophobe, or a nativist. (Connecticut Democratic Gov. Daniel Malloy recently called the NRA a "terrorist organization.") Democrats are following Saul Alinsky's strategy in "Rules for Radicals": Don't debate your opponents – ridicule them, demonize them, ostracize them. It's ironic that Bill Clinton (who was always whining about the "politics of personal destruction") was married to a confirmed Alinskyite. Recall who came up with the expression "basketful of deplorables."
8. Violence – Communists came to power through the barrel of a gun. Then came the mass executions (including planned famines), the secret police, the torture cells, the show trials and the gulags. When was the last time you heard a prominent Democrat denounce Black Lives Matter, Antifa, rampaging student mobs, and members of the Resistance who bludgeoned Trump supporters during the inauguration? They can't even discipline Democratic congressman who get cozy with Louis Farrakhan. When elections don't work (to the Democrats' advantage), there's always the mob.
9. Anti-Faith – Marx called religion the "opium of the people." Communists have always viewed churches as alternative centers of power competing for the loyalty of the masses. In the 1920s, Gramsci attributed the failure of universal revolution to faith and family. To consolidate their revolution, churches were demolished, printing Bibles was outlawed, and you could be imprisoned for learning Hebrew. While swearing (on a stack of Bibles?), that they aren't enemies of organized religion, Democrats view churches with growing hostility. They use the IRS to threaten the tax-exempt status of churches that exercise their First Amendment rights. They have reinterpreted the Establishment Clause to prohibit any public expression of religion. Some consider public avowals of Biblical morality a disqualification for public service.
10. Anti-Second Amendment – The first thing the Bolshies did when they came to power was to confiscate privately owned firearms. Come on; it's a no-brainer. Communists come to power by the violent overthrow of the old government. So they're going to give future counter-revolutionaries the means to do the same? (We learned this as long ago as the Vendee massacre during the French Revolution.) Democrats are ardent gun-prohibitionists. But they approach it piecemeal – waiting periods, ending certain types of sales, banning this or that gun. They call it a public safety measure. (It also gives them a chance to play crime-fighters.) But don't you think they're more than a tad nervous about 300 million guns in private hands in this country? The founding fathers ratified the Second Amendment not to promote hunting or target practice, but as the ultimate deterrent against tyranny.
If POTUS ever sits down with the fat Stalinist with the really bad haircut, it will be great practice for future negotiations with Chuck and Nancy.
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains a Facebook page.