The Ghost of Stalin Stalks the White House

Masked men. Insignia-free uniforms. No probable cause. No Miranda. Hoods. Unmarked vans. Undisclosed locations. Welcome to the Soviet Union/United States of America.

"Stalin and colleagues, 1929" from the Library of Congress

Trump Declares War on U.S. Cities

The similarities are too much to ignore. Too dangerous to disregard.

“Officers have been using unmarked vehicles… driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation about why they are being arrested…and driving off.”

“A car, or sometimes a disguised commercial van, would park in the street in front of the building. Several officers… knock on the door.”

(He) “used terms such as ‘enemy of the people.’”

“Police operated unpredictably, arresting people not only in the dark of night but also in the light of day. No matter when or where arrests occurred, special trucks outfitted with tiny prison cells hauled the new prisoners to their tormentors in an interrogation prison.”

“I had my beanie pulled over my face so I couldn’t see and they held my hands over my head… It was basically a process of facing many walls and corners as they patted me down and took my picture and rummaged through my belongings.”

These statements describe the “Great Purge” or “Great Terror” in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union in the 1930s and what is happening in Portland, Oregon today.

The similarities are striking.

Graphic of Stalin and Trump over barbed wire
Dictator and Dictator Wannabe – Joseph Stalin (left) and Donald Trump. (Images: Trump by Drop of Light from Shutterstock; Stalin from Britannica; barbed wire via Pixabay)

Masked Agents, Unmasked Civilians

In the United States I grew up in, the very idea of similarities existing between the Soviet Union and the United States was abhorrent.

Yet here we are.

Masked men. Insignia-free uniforms. No probable cause. No Miranda warnings. Hoods covering eyes. Unmarked vans. Dead of night. Undisclosed locations.

In Portland, we’re seeing the beginning of a not-so-subtle war on U.S. citizens.

Some wars can be both secretive and conspicuous at the same time. Joseph Stalin conducted one against his own political party and citizenry during the 1930s. Donald Trump is now conducting one against our fellow citizens, with plans to expand it to other cities.

In both cases, people are (were) aware the wars are (were) happening. In the case of Trump, his minions have come straight out with it – federal agents will be deployed in the nation’s largest cities, they say, clearly without any concern. What they aren’t saying is also clear: officers in other U.S. cities will be using the same secretive, and likely unlawful, tactics currently employed by federal agents in Portland.

The other characteristic these two wars have in common is the ulterior motives driving them.

Stalin claimed “…he had uncovered a dangerous conspiracy of anti-Stalinist Communists, but the truth was the Soviet dictator had an ulterior motive: to rid his country of any and all opposition to his absolute power.

Trump’s stated purpose is to maintain law and order in cities where the local authorities are not doing their jobs, which is patently false. The wannabe dictator’s true goal is to distract U.S. voters from his abysmal failure in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, scare voters in a way that improves his polling numbers and makes it possible to win the presidential election in November.

The “law and order” ploy isn’t working so far. It’s tough to distract people from a pandemic that’s killing their family members, friends and neighbors and who are seeing skyrocketing national coronavirus data daily.

Like this –

As of 7:34 a.m. EST today, the number of coronavirus cases in the United States is more than 3.8 million, a number that’s growing in large part because too many Americans refuse to wear a mask or social distance. Nearly 141,000 people have died, including infants, children and adults of all ages. Meanwhile, a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has found that the “…actual number of coronavirus cases is 12 times higher than reported — with 50 percent more deaths.”

Graphic of coronavirus statistics from National Public Radio National Public Radio coronavirus tracker graphic

A Deeper, More Duplicitous Motivation

Trump has said multiple times that “president for life” has a good ring to it. These statements have been reported as “jokes,” but we need to believe he’s serious.

He wants to be the ruler of the United States of America. Forever.

And what better way to start the transformation from president to dictator than to deploy an anonymous repression force into Portland, where people are protesting police brutality. And once those agents have the experience of Portland under their belts, to take the lessons they’ve learned to places where the majority of people disapprove of your performance and disagree with your administration’s actions, a.k.a. America’s largest cities. Then begin cracking down on other areas of the nation. Secret away in unmarked vans to undisclosed locations people who dare express dissenting opinions. Give no justification for their detention. Suspend habeas corpus. Make them serve years of hard labor. Execute them.

If that progression of authoritarian actions sounds far-fetched, read this –

When citizens of Stalin’s Soviet Union climbed into bed at night, an uninterrupted sleep was never a guarantee. The secret police’s sharp 2 a.m. knock often launched an odyssey into the hellish depths of the Gulag. Many would never return alive.”

And today, Stalin’s ghost stalks the halls of the White House. Make no mistake – the instigator of the “Great Terror” can come again and, in fact, his spirit is already here.

Trump, the home-grown dictator, is already subverting our democracy. All he needs to continue and possibly complete the job is for true patriots to look the other way, hoping the threat of despotism will just go away.

 

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Sources

* Featured image: Stalin and colleagues, 1929” from the Library of Congress. Stalin is in the center.

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Author: Martin C. Fredricks IV

Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV here. I’m 51 years old, husband to an amazing woman who is also my best friend, dad to three outstanding kids, Fargoan (North Dakota, that is), veteran messaging strategist/copywriter, blogger and big-time reader. (If you're gonna write good stuff, you have to read good stuff.) A ginger, too (ergo the "Red"). I enjoy hanging out with my wife, watching the kids in their academic and athletic activities, writing, hiking and riding my mountain bike.

Let me know what you think!