When someone on the left wants to denigrate someone on the right in the most extreme way, they call us a Nazi or fascist (I 100% reject the notion that Nazism or fascism is of the right, but that is for another time). When someone on the right wants to denigrate the left in the most extreme way, we call them a communist. The difference here is that while leading figures of the Republican Party, or the right broadly speaking, roundly reject and condemn fascism, many on the left still find communism acceptable.
There is a fringe that has attached itself to the right, known as the alt-right, that preaches white nationalism, but that small group of basement dwellers has been routinely and vocally repudiated by leading figures of the actual right. The same cannot be said for the left. Examples abound.
Let’s not even count historical examples such as when Bernie Sanders, currently the most popular politician on the left, honeymooned in the Soviet Union. And since the Venezuelan dictatorship is still calling itself merely socialist, we can ignore Sanders high praise for that regime as well.
Even setting these aside, there are plenty of examples of the left embracing communism.
There was the love sonnet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Tradaeu wrote after Cuban dictator Fidel Castro finally went to hell. Tradaeu wrote that he felt “deep sorrow” about the communist dictator’s death, and called him a “larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century” and a friend of his family. Of the millions of Cubans who suffered under Castro’s rule, the hundreds of thousands imprisoned for voicing opposition, or the unknown many who were summarily executed, Tradaeu only admitted that Castro was a “controversial figure,” but that even his “detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for el comandante.” The Cubans who drowned while trying to escape Castro and communism on a raft made of old tires were unavailable for comment.
Earlier this year, Vice writer Eve Peyser responded to capitalists in her twitter feed by tweeting a GIF of a dancing Lenin twirling with a hammer and sickle. Think about that for a moment. Lenin ushered in a totalitarian state responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people, and a writer for a major media website saw no issue with publicly celebrating him. Ms. Peyser demonstrates that nearly a century after his death, Lenin still has his useful idiots in the West.
The same day a carefree Lenin was dancing through new media, the New York Times published “When Communism Inspired Americans.” This was one of several articles the Gray Lady published during the centennial year of the October Revolution that celebrated and excused 100 years of communist tyranny. It may be comforting for the New York Times’ liberal readership to read that American communists thought it was uncouth for Stalin to murder tens of millions of the proletariat they claimed to fight for, but the white washing of history is too high a price to pay.
While even jokingly embracing fascism today can unleash a firestorm of criticism, many feel little pressure to avoid earnest declarations of support for an ideology that killed far more than the Nazis.
Buzzfeed UK editor Kelly Oakes took to Twitter to add totalitarianism to her Christmas wishlist.
Several times a day the Facebook page Sassy Socialist Memes posts pro-communist and anti-American memes to its more than one million followers.
And of course who can forget 2LT Spenser Rapone, who broadcast his support for overthrowing democratic government to install communism during his graduation from West Point.
This may seem like so much noise. Why should we care if a stupid Facebook page posts jokes about murdering the wealthy? So what if a West Point cadet is publicizing his hatred for his chain of command and support for America’s historic enemy? Does it matter if media organizations that influence the national conversation like Buzzfeed, Vice, and the New York Times are celebrating the Soviet Union? What do we care if America’s number one trading partner is led by a prime minister who fawns over dead tyrants?
Who cares if the Democrat Party practically rigged the game and a radical communist sympathizer nearly won their presidential nomination anyway?
For a long time, Americans knew communism was our enemy. We knew communism was the face of totalitarian evil in the world, a malevolent force that promised utopia but delivered starvation and gulags. But as the threat of the Soviet Union faded, we allowed communist collaborators to work their way from celebrating “Uncle Joe Stalin’s” victories in the Second World War, to communism’s good intentions, to anything bad not being “real communism,” all on the slow path to millions of Americans tolerating and then advocating a Soviet sympathizer for president of the United States.
What is the next step down this path? How long after Americans forget history will we be doomed to repeat it?
Communism is a disease of the mind; a cancer on society. It is vital to continuously remind those who may get suckered by sweet sounding ideas of equality and fairness that the true legacy of communism is death and oppression.