America is on The Road to Revolution

By Rod Dreher

In 1951, six years after the end of World War II, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt published The Origins of Totalitarianism, in an attempt to understand how such radical ideologies of both left and right had seized the minds of so many in the 20th century. Arendt’s book used to be a staple in college history and political theory courses. With the end of the Cold War 30 years behind us, who today talks about totalitarianism? Almost no one—and if they do, it’s about Nazism, not communism.

Unsurprisingly, young Americans suffer from profound ignorance of what communism was, and is. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit educational and research organization established by the U.S. Congress, carries out an annual survey of Americans to determine their attitudes toward communism, socialism, and Marxism in general. In 2019, the survey found that a startling number of Americans of the post-Cold War generations have favorable views of left-wing radicalism, and only 57 percent of Millennials believe that the Declaration of Independence offers a better guarantee of “freedom and equality” than The Communist Manifesto.

Some émigrés who grew up in Soviet-dominated societies are sounding the alarm about the West’s dangerous drift into conditions like they once escaped. They feel it in their bones. Reading Arendt in the shadow of the extraordinary rise of identity-politics leftism and the broader crisis of liberal democracy is to confront a deeply unsettling truth: that these refugees from communism may be right.

What does contemporary America have in common with pre-Nazi Germany and pre-Soviet Russia? Arendt’s analysis found a number of social, political, and cultural conditions that tilled the ground for those nations to welcome poisonous ideas.

Loneliness and Social Atomization

Totalitarian movements, said Arendt, are “mass organizations of atomized, isolated individuals.” She continues:

What prepares men for totalitarian domination in the non-totalitarian world, is the fact that loneliness, once a borderline experience usually suffered in certain marginal social conditions like old age, has become an everyday experience of the ever-growing masses of our century.

The political theorist wrote those words in the 1950s, a period we look back on as a golden age of community cohesion. Today, loneliness is widely recognized by scientists as a critical social and even medical problem. In the year 2000, Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam published Bowling Alone, an acclaimed study documenting the steep decline of civil society since midcentury and the resulting atomization of America.

Since Putnam’s book, we have experienced the rise of social media networks offering a facsimile of “connection.” Yet we grow ever lonelier and more isolated. It is no coincidence that Millennials and members of Generation Z register much higher rates of loneliness than older Americans, as well as significantly greater support for socialism. It’s as if they aspire to a politics that can replace the community they wish they had.

Sooner or later, loneliness and isolation are bound to have political effects. The masses supporting totalitarian movements, says Arendt, grew “out of the fragments of a highly atomized society whose competitive structure and concomitant loneliness …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Gregg Jarrett: Corrupt Comey conveniently claims no memory of parts of FBI’s Trump-Russia ‘collusion’ probe

By Gregg Jarrett At a Senate hearing on the FBI’s Trump-Russia “collusion” investigation and the bureau’s egregious abuse of the surveillance process under James Comey’s reign, he claimed to know nothing about everything. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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The Chernobyl Debate

By Matt Purple

Last night, a Real Housewife squared off against a Turner Classic Movie, and the result was chaos in technicolor. Sixty years after a black-and-white John F. Kennedy stepped onstage with Richard Nixon and television became a serious campaign platform, the Biden/Trump contest saw the medium completely overwhelm the message. This wasn’t a debate so much as a thermonuclear accident, and it’s difficult to think we won’t all be suffering complications for years to come. Though you can’t really “win” an extravaganza of anger porn, surely the loser was the country as a whole.

“How ya doin’, man?” said Joe Biden to Donald Trump as the candidates took their podiums. It was the last civil remark either candidate would make for the next hour and a half. Consider that Biden called Trump a “liar,” “clown,” and the “worst president America has ever had,” and he was by far the more measured of the two. Trump, meanwhile, came off as a one-man infernal column, constantly interrupting the former vice president, questioning his intelligence, using his formidable rhetorical skills to draw Biden down rabbit holes. By the end, moderator Chris Wallace was dumping Everclear into a funnel.

Twitter went in hard on Wallace Tuesday night, as conservatives denounced him for seeming to prop up Biden and progressives grumbled that he didn’t do more to rein in Trump. And certainly Wallace’s breakneck changes of topic sometimes felt like missed opportunities. That was especially true when Biden refused to answer whether he would pack the Supreme Court, a subject worthy of interrogation, only for Wallace to veer off onto the coronavirus. But in Wallace’s defense, I’m not sure how much more he could have done. Moderator is a harder job than it seems. I find it incredibly difficult to interrupt a guest on our foreign policy podcast; I can’t even imagine trying to corral a motor-mouthed TV specialist like Trump.

The shame of it all for Republicans is that Trump could have won this debate if he’d wanted to. Repeatedly Biden gave him openings that a subtler and nimbler interlocutor might have exploited. There was that refusal to answer on court packing, an extraordinarily arrogant and evasive moment given the importance of the institution at stake. There was Biden’s outrageous claim that Antifa was “an idea, not an organization”—he was quoting FBI Director Christopher Wray, but try telling that to shop owners in Portland who have seen their livelihoods smashed. There was his failure to persuasively reconcile his 1994 crime bill with his sudden embrace of criminal justice reform. There was his awkward shrugging-off of the left, repudiating the Green New Deal and boasting about his victory over Bernie Sanders.

Behind the fiery curtain of anti-Trump anger lies a frayed Democratic Party. Yet rather than draw attention to that, Trump seemed unable to get out of his own way. He managed in the same 30-second span to both trash Biden’s support for the crime bill and accuse him of being against law and order. He called out Biden over …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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RNC Chairwoman McDaniel: At debate Trump proves he’ll keep fighting for us, Biden revealed as empty vessel

By Ronna McDaniel At the first presidential debate Tuesday Trump fought to finally get President Joe Biden to answer the questions he has been hiding from. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Biden Lets Trump Hang Around

By Curt Mills

It was, in some ways, the most anticipated political moment in four years.

Donald Trump, who rose from political neophyte to national preeminence on the debate stage, appeared again Tuesday opposite an opponent. For the most of the faithful, the greatest show on Earth (judged by the Nielsen ratings) didn’t disappoint. CNN swiftly labeled the affair a “s**tshow” and a “disgrace.” Main anchor Jake Tapper said “the American people lost tonight. … That was a hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a trainwreck.”

True to form, it was gloves off from the president. “There’s nothing smart about you,” Trump told his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden. “You graduated either the lowest or almost the lowest in your class. Don’t ever use the word smart with me. … Forty-seven years you’ve done nothing.”

For anyone paying attention the last five years — since Trump descended that escalator in Manhattan — it’s hard to shake the feeling that this all somehow plays into Trump’s hands: media shrieks of horror, outlaw tactics, the laying to waste of all convention.

“Will you shut up, man?” Biden said, in perhaps the night’s iconic line. The problem for Biden? Trump would, of course, not shut up. Desperate, probably losing, the Republican presidential nominee was no holds barred. Referring to the Coronavirus: “But I’ll tell you, Joe, you could never have done the job that we did. You don’t have it in your blood. You could have never done that job.”

Speaking with those in the president’s orbit following the battle royale, the only question was if any of this works.

Was the, frankly, masculine show of force the appropriate play here? Slap-dashing showmanship may have thrilled the MAGA faithful, but what about the suburban women leaking from his coalition? “Women hated it,” a source close to the president warned. And what about the working class voters who respected Biden enough to vote for him the last time he was on a ticket (and then voted for Trump four years later)?

Reeling from depression, coronavirus and the drip-drip of Trump’s personal scandals, the only real question is: does America really want more of this?

Moderator Chris Wallace — who couldn’t win and was panned on the left for weakness, and on the right for interrupting the sitting president — tried to drill Trump down on ties to white extremism. “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said, but then quickly pivoted: “But I’ll tell you what: Somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.” Biden, at one point, said “antifa is an idea,” something he also frequently says about America, drawing an equivalency sure to make those allergic to extralegal violence queasy.

It was and will be a theme: Biden as a tool of the left, a “trojan horse” for — though Trump would not use this term — the successor ideology. Biden, entertainingly, sought to counteract this impression: “Right now, I am the Democratic Party.” L’etat c’est moi.

Given Biden’s reasonable …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Andrew McCarthy: Russian intel alleges Hillary Clinton orchestrated collusion hoax to distract from emails

By Andrew McCarthy Hillary Clinton personally signed off on the Russiagate farce to distract attention from her email scandal, according to a Russian intelligence analysis that was obtained by U.S. intelligence agencies in July 2016. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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