As the Venezuelan crisis worsens, and the country’s failing socialism system continues to demonstrate why the likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are foolish, we are seeing the illegitimate president Trump’s new strategy at work. Now the long game becomes clear. Using no less a mouthpiece than the 2019 State of the Union Address, Trump both charted his 2020 strategy and scored big points by taking the time to score a shot on socialism, vowing that America will never be a socialist country.
It’s a little late to stand on that now, Donald, but we don’t kid ourselves that will stop you from trying.
This is what we’ve been warning against all along. The fake left is just as anti-Democrat as the right; why? How is it that their interests always manage to coincide? What were they playing at? Why has Trump been so soft on socialism until now? Why not during the election, when America really needed to hear all of our leaders saying it?
Because then it would have been too early.
In Ocasio-Cortez, in the few very loud members of our generation that have been hoodwinked into supporting this truly evil and invasive form of government, the Republicans now have a walking personification of all they have been fighting with their money to create: a just accusation that Democrats are socialists, and that to support us is to personally become the vector of socialism. It’s George McGovern all over again.
Meanwhile, the Venezuelan situation provides a vivid example of how big disaster socialism can be. At the end of the SOTU speech, Trump did what he’s going to be doing a lot- pointing to Bernie Sanders in silence, looking horrified, waiting for the people to become so disgusted they can’t take it and vote against their interests. Policy be damned, they will say. Look at that blue clown suit. I would rather burn than have that guy as my president.
The claim that we Democrats are going to turn America into a Venezuelan socialist hellscape looks like something new, but as every reader of this blog will be aware, they’ve been laying the groundwork for it for the last several years. Contrary to Trump’s new narrative, the Democratic Party has never embraced Bernie Sanders. We do share some policies, but he goes too far with them and makes them look ridiculous. Now he’s got AOC there with him, screaming for seventy percent income tax rates on the rich and protesting Nancy Pelosi over climate change.
In the meantime, Tulsi Gabbard got involved as well, protesting Trump’s decision to condemn Maduro, which is about the one thing he has ever done right.
On both extremes of the political spectrum, everyone and everything they have is engaged in making the Democratic Party appear to be tilting left, at just the right moment for Trump.
“It seems to me that DJT has zero interest in expanding his coalition, and is going all-in on making the Democratic alternative unpalatable, hence the focus on opposing ‘socialism,’ ” the Republican strategist Michael Steel, a former senior adviser to the House G.O.P. leadership, told the New Yorker’s Susan B. Glasser in an e-mail the morning after the speech.
The entire Trump era, in many ways, feels like a return to the days of Richard Nixon. Parallels abound in terms of personnel, power, and politics. Perhaps above all else, a feeling that a growing extremity is pervading our country and reaching a dangerous level is strongly troubling American consciousness. It feels like chaos is everywhere. In such circumstances, history has shown that just about anything can happen.
One wonders if that isn’t the socialistic schemers’ whole point.
Cold War-era divisions have emerged along the same old lines as always. Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro is backed by Russia, China, and Cuba, which don’t want to lose an ally in the region. He has accepted billions in Russian and Chinese aid as his country’s economy has exploded, and is now deeply indebted to some guys that are even worse than him. The Russian government has said it is considering installing an airbase in Venezuela, and there’s no doubt at all he’d let them do it. One wonders how Trump’s tough talk on Venezuela will jive with this desire of his boss. It’s one thing to stand up to a pack of screaming wingnuts, Donald. Try standing up to Putin for a change, why don’t you.
The Venezuelan situation, complete with right-wing exiles now involved in the political scene of Miami, brings us back to the good old days of international rancor over Latin American populist revolutions. One of the standard tropes of the Nixon era was the constant trouble over the Cuban Revolution, an event which saw its sixty-year anniversary pass by last month.
In that troubled time, revolutionary leader Fidel Castro managed with the help of the famous Che Guevara to overthrow the unpopular strongman Fulgencio Batista. Having done it, he went on to construct what he promised would be a more egalitarian Cuban regime. Soon after, he made sure to announce formally what U.S. military leaders and top officials had long known anyway- that this regime would be a communist one.
In a televised address not long after, Castro declared, “I am a Marxist-Leninist and shall be one until the end of my life.” He went on to state that, “Marxism or scientific socialism has become the revolutionary movement of the working class.”
The American right was empowered by that enough to justify decades worth of grotesque savagery. Shadows of doubt will always loom over the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
It’s important to note what Castro said there about socialism, “scientific” or otherwise. True communism, as envisioned conceptually by Karl Marx, is very different from the centralized socialism that grew into fruition in places like Cuba and the Soviet Union. The idea was to give over national resources to the working class, to be administered in some unknown way, at which point these completely unprepared and unsuspecting people are sent off to go to town creating a utopia (the Greek word for “nowhere”).
No one knows what that utopia might have looked like since it never happened.
What did happen was socialism, meaning that the State took ownership of absolutely everything and set about instantly setting itself up as the sole power in the land, choosing for everyone what they would have and not have, and creating a new type of elite based on party loyalty and bureaucratic efficiency. One tiny central hub, e.g. Moscow, controls every scrap of land and enjoys total autonomy within it. Every evidence shows this practice to have caused an unreal amount of human misery everywhere it has been tried; for example, China locked an entire ethnic population, the Uighurs, more than a million deep into labor camps last fall. This is not a dream.
Then as now, and in those countries as in Venezuela, the whole sloppy mess was a disaster. It starved five million people to death in the first five years of Vladimir Lenin’s reign when the Soviet Union was born. It was not well thought out, to try and apply a political theory off the pages of a book to actual human society. Socialism is something to be avoided completely and utterly, and Americans are aware of it. It is one thing we were taught in school that is all but inarguably true- not that this stops certain people from arguing it anyway.
All this history lessoning aside, we can all see what’s going on here. Trump is making a big show out of his sudden anti-socialism posture, but actually, it’s disingenuous in the extreme for him to do so. He has subscribed all along to the usual American far-right strategy, which is to consider liberals the true enemy, not communists or socialists.
This is why Trump sided with Bernie Sanders in 2016. Instead of saying at that time, Socialism is a disaster and we should all come together on this, he chose to court a bromance with the Bern and reviled us for “stealing” the election from the man Hillary Clinton beat by nearly four million votes. His base has oft-repeated this slanderous claim.
Trump waited until Nancy Pelosi gave him permission to give the 2019 SOTU before he would finally go after the fake left. We’ve been here cleaning house the whole time, and he wants to co-opt all the hard work we Democrats have done. He thinks it’s the right time to cash in. But long before the day this started, the right has done all it can to empower and incite the socialists because they know it will make things harder for us. They want Ocasio-Cortez to be the face of our Party more than anything.
Now they’ve got their Goldstein, in the 1984 scenario.
In reality, of course, Democrats are the ones on the front lines of the struggle against socialism. The reason for this is simple. American democracy is the only pillar in the world still holding up the idea of human freedom, and it’s under attack from every angle. The only people in the world who are here to protect it are us, Democrats. When the Proud Boys and Antifa come in masks, to brawl in the streets and smash windows out, we’re the ones who break it up and send them all home or to jail.
The far right uses the far left to manipulate the public all the time. That’s what agent provocateurs are for. That’s what the Nixon era taught us, and it’s why we need to be so careful now.
It’s important to realize that this could have deep implications for us. Florida is one of the most key of all the swing states, as anyone who remembers the 2000 presidential race was stolen from Al Gore can tell you. The political scale there is so evenly weighted that percentages involving tenths of a percent are often what decide its elections.
For Trump to gain support from the Venezuelan emigre community of Miami at this time would be extremely bad for our chances in 2020. He is hitting a lick off posturing as anti-socialist, but he did the opposite in 2016. Going forward, it will be incumbent upon us to raise awareness on this. Trump is a Johnny-come-lately at this game. He’s really just a poser.
In the last analysis, the thing to remember is this: Trump has not stood for democracy or its institutions at all. The World Economic Forum no longer considers America to be a full democracy, because of him. MAGA hats have become like armbands worn by Nazis, and Trump is the white power symbol successor of Hitler. It’s worth reminding the world that fascism came from socialism. It was the branch of it designed by Mussolini. The alt left and the far right is exactly the same entity.
“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves,” said Vladimir Lenin a hundred years ago.
Here at Millennial Democrats, we refuse to accept a false equivalency. We equally reject the totalitarian nightmares that arise both from fascism and socialism, and from that posture, we call not only for the resignation of the disgraced dictator Nicholas Maduro.
We call with equal lungpower for the resignation of the disgraced dictator Donald Trump.