Of Useful Idiots and Foreign Puppets

Soviet cartoons and Antifa

Starting with the immensely destructive "1619 Project"--but other examples abound--I am beginning to see many similarities between how the US is depicted here and the Soviet propaganda, to which I was exposed when I lived in the Soviet Union. This country is now presented by many within as fundamentally evil, born in the original sin of slavery and perpetually guilty of heartlessness, greed and rapacious subjugation of powerless people at home and abroad. Even some of the techniques, such as rewriting of history are the same.

And I wonder whether in some perverse sense the downfall of the Soviet Union paved the way to the current situation. When the Soviet Union existed, American attitudes and notions similar to the Soviet propaganda could be ameliorated by pointing out that the are the same as promoted by the "evil empire" (which the USSR was). Now, with this convenient antidote gone and forgotten by the young generation that was born after the USSR's demise, warnings about Communism and the GULAG empire are like scary stories adults tell children about ghosts who punish disobedient kids who refuse to wash their hands before dinner.

The demise of the USSR removed all breaks preventing us from turning on ourselves. Now the most destructive thing the hostile foreign actors can do is not to paint the US as an evil, colonialist state--we do it well ourselves, thank you very much--but to write "well-wishing" op-eds in NYTimes lamenting how Americans should be more respectful of minorities, should fight "systemic racism" and "structural oppression", etc. as if they have a good record to stand on.

In short, we made ourselves vulnerable puppets of foreign actors and much of what is going on is a cheap way for hostile powers to reduce the US effectiveness and world leadership. No matter how bad Trump may be as some argue (and many would disagree), it is not any of his tweets or threats (like pulling troops out of Germany) that are the most damaging. Rather it is the internal conflict created remotely and managed cheaply over the social media making throngs of our own people, intellectuals, media and politicians into virtual puppets of foreign powers that fan the flames of internal strife.

Imagine if China attacked Taiwan (as subjugating Hong Kong has not been enough apparently). Would we act while from Minneapolis to CHAZ/CHOP we are busy fighting ourselves? Even if some power attacked our own interests more directly, half the country would argue that it was engineered by Trump to distract from his failures while another part of the country would claim that it is done to create a crisis to damage Trump's re-election chances.

There are ways in a democratic country by which serious and thoughtful people can push for reforms in a productive manner. And then there is a way to demand the revolution, start mayhem and pull down statues in a temper tantrum by the puppets of powers who want to tear this great country down.

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