America’s Stalin

Seventy percent of Americans say this election has brought out the worst in people. That’s what a new Monmouth University Poll found.

“Half of Trump supporters seem to be saying let the expletives fly, but many voters blame both sides equally for the negative tone of this year’s campaign,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

What is it about Donald Trump that makes people so profane and, generally, nuts? Part of it is Hillary Clinton. Knowing that the last, worst retread of selfish, corrupt, bleeding-heart liberals who view entire swaths of America as stupid hillbillies is running tends set people’s blood boiling. We didn’t want a Jeb Bush or a Bobby Jindal, or even a Marco Rubio to take down Clinton.

We wanted blood (coming out her…whatever). America summoned the Golem and Trump answered with a cult of personality.

This country does not know the damage that a cult figure as leader can and will do. We’ve had wartime presidents like Lincoln and FDR, but they weren’t cult leaders. We’ve had JFK, who only achieved cult status after his death. The closest thing America has had to a cult leader is George Washington, who was too humble to accept worship or a title. He insisted that those trappings be constitutionally banned–and they are.

The president has no military rank and no title of nobility. “Mr. President” is the only appellation attached to the position. Donald Trump prefers “Mr. Trump.”

Every sign is there. Trump will be a cult figure in the mold of Joseph Stalin. I rarely cite Wikipedia, but in this case, it’s as handy as a Google poll and it proves my point just as well.

  • Stalin named things after himself;
  • Stalin’s press used titles and traditions associated with the Russian Orthodox church to redirect that devotion to their leader;
  • Stalin tied himself to the father of Soviet Bolshevism, Lenin, in such a way that “Stalin became the embodiment of Lenin.”;
  • Numerous pictures and statues of Stalin adorned public places;
  • Stalin dealt harshly with detractors.

Upon Stalin’s death, Khrushchev repudiated Stalin-worship and the cult of personality in one of the most famous speeches every given by a Soviet leader. (Khrushchev took four hours to deliver the then-top-secret speech to the Politburo.) It was even included in William Safire’s book of great speeches.

You should have seen Stalin’s fury! How could it be admitted that he, Stalin, had not been right! He is after all a “genius” and a genius cannot help but be right! Everyone can err, but Stalin considered that he never erred, that he was always right. He never acknowledged to anyone that he made any mistake, large or small, despite the fact that he made more than a few in matters of theory and in his practical activity.

We could replace “Stalin” with “Trump” here. Not to be fooled by lack of context, the above quote is in regard to the Kharkov counterattack in which the Russians suffered 90,000 casualties at the hands of German General Erich von Manstein’s 4th Panzer Army in the last major rout of World War II. Trump only lost a debate to a smiling old woman who most Americans distrust–if not despise.

Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, but a cult of personality is not one of her (manifold) faults. In fact, she’s disliked enough that in the unlikely event the GOP holds on to majorities in both the House and the Senate, many of her plans could be blocked by legislative action. Clinton is neither the orator nor the persuader the likes of President Obama.

In that lies the biggest conundrum for America.

Trump has nearly succeeded in sabotaging his own party to the point where his victory may be the only thing preventing the unmitigated disaster for liberty that an unfettered Clinton and her big-government, fascistic central planners would heave on the nation without real congressional opposition.

To stop Clinton, Trump must win the presidency (or so goes the logic). It’s always been about stopping Clinton. And once in the White House, the man who repeatedly claims he speaks for “us” would assume the role of autocrat. We should not fear Trump’s disdain for the Constitution, since he doesn’t know enough about it to hold it in disdain. Rather, we should fear his ignorance. The average high school advanced placement American history student knows more about our governance than Trump.

In this way, Trump is exactly like Stalin, who could not have cared less about Bolshevism. He simply appropriated it from Lenin. Trump appropriated conservatism from Reagan, starting with Reagan’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. Where Reagan was an ideologue, Trump is a despot.

As a cult leader, Trump will do more damage to America than any leader in our history. I think the best option at this point is to hope Americans come to our senses take enough electoral votes away from both candidates to prevent a majority of 270 by either, then the House of Representatives can step back from the precipice.

It’s no wonder that former Soviet dissidents see what’s coming, and we don’t.

If Trump wins, we will soon find out what they already know.

About the author

Steve Berman

The old Steve cared about money, prestige, and power. Then Christ found me. All at once things changed. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I spent 30 years in business. Now I write and edit. But mostly I love. I have a wife and 2 kids and a dog and we live in a little house in central Georgia.

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