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You're a Communist! No, You Are!
Republicans Projecting Own Authoritarian Tendencies on Kamala Harris and Progressives
I was shocked; maybe you were too, to find out that Kamala Harris is a Communist. One would have thought that we didn’t need that insult any more since the fall of the Soviet Union, but I was evidently wrong. Would also think that the intended target audience for that epithet couldn’t point out the differences between a Communist, Socialist, liberal or autocrat given a dictionary, thesaurus, a drop down menu and free lifetime tickets to WWF for the right answers!
I do know quite a bit about Communism. The Vietnam War raged throughout my childhood. Majored in International Relations with focus on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in college. Spent my nine-year Army intelligence career fighting the Cold War, six of those years on the front lines in Germany. Was there when the Wall came down. Interestingly, most Army officers will tell you that the Army is a lot like Communism, and not in a good way!
Communist governments rely on secrecy of motives and objectives, hidden hierarchies of privilege, propaganda, party members willing to drink kool aid in exchange for higher status, denial of obvious truths, a denial of the self and natural law in favor of Party edicts, and an intense hatred of “the other.” Sound familiar?
The Republican tactic of name-calling is really just a psychological projection of their own tendencies - and the claim that Harris is a Communist should be laughed off for its obvious ludicrousness. On the other hand, we need to take a real hard look at the 40%. Anybody who would vote for Trump in 2020 primarily because their 401k is doing well is a latent loyal Communist Party member, masquerading as an Adam Smith devotee. Any Catholic (I am one, a Catholic that is, not a Trump voter!) who would vote for Trump (65% of Catholic voters voted for Trump in 2016, a fact which deeply shames me) solely because he is theoretically “Pro Life” is at least as myopic as the worst Communist Party members and as hypocritical as the Evangelicals they despised until the long missing Prosperity Gospel showed up. A hard look at the facts indicates he should be more accurately termed “Pro Death.” Pope Francis points out just such a danger of Christians failing to see the forest for the trees numerous times in his Encyclical on Fraternity and Social Friendship.
At its most logical it makes sense to compare Communism with capitalism – they are both economic systems. And in that comparison Communism as an economic system comes off in a better light – in concept it is by far the more humane. And very interestingly, much more closely aligned to Catholic and mainline Christian doctrine than is capitalism.
Trump doesn’t get any of this any more than do his “low information” colleagues. Bannon, Miller, conservative think tanks and Fox News do understand this though -- and in great detail. Shame on them for trying to take down the last best hope of earth for a private jet and a trophy wife. Shame on us for letting them.
Because at the root of all this is not Communism, which after all is just the incorrect name we gave to several ideologically aligned governments in the 20th century that bore no resemblance whatsoever to the ideas of their “founders” Marx and Engels. It’s uglier and much less prosaic than that.
Trumpism is really about authoritarianism and totalitarianism – the antitheses of Democracy and western liberalism -- and the very aspects of 20th century Communist regimes that brought about their downfall. Are we to suffer the same fate?