Case in point: less than 24 hours after learning precisely how corrupt, mendacious and greedy '45's one-time campaign manager Paul Manafort truly was (and likely still is), we discover that there is a cadre of '45 supporters who both willingly and pridefully proclaim I'D RATHER BE RUSSIAN THAN DEMOCRAT! When I saw a photo of a couple of these pinheads wearing tee shirts emblazoned with that particular message while attending a '45 love/hatefest, my first thought was was "My sweet Lord, Huxley, Orwell and Bradbury have all risen from the dead and are now sitting on the board of a revamped, dystopian Republican National Committee!"
When I was a kid, a lot of our friends and neighbors were accused of being Communists - which in those days was generally a synonym for either "liberal," "progressive" or "Democrat" These folks, who were, as a class, mostly Jewish, successful, literate and a bit more artistic than most, had their lives turned upside-down and inside out because of what conservatives - both Democrats and Republicans - deemed their treacherous allegiance to a foreign power . . . the Soviet Union. And because they had at one time signed a petition denouncing racism, or contributed to a group which favored an end to segregated schools or opposed the Nazis as early as the 1930's, they were labeled "Comsymps" -Communist sympathizers - and were thrown out of their jobs as actors and directors, producers and choreographers, composers and screenwriters. While it is true that some of them actually did pay dues to a Communist club or belong to a Communist cell back in the late 1930s or early 1940s, one should remember that Stalin's Russia, for better or for worse, was our ally. Nonetheless, these "premature anti-Fascists" ultimately paid a high price for their idealism. They were hauled before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and given two options: name names of fellow "conspirators" or be blacklisted. To conservative Democrats and Republicans, anything less than 100% pro-American, anti-Russian sympathies were simply unforgivable.
(BTW: the next Tales From Hollywood & Vine essay will deal with the Hollywood Blacklist.)
Looking at the photo above, listening to the Republican base whose approval and espousal of such inanities as finding greater kinship with autocratic, dictatorial Russia than with a major American political party makes me wonder what in the world "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) means. It also makes me realize that although her precise figures may have been too high and her public statement a bit impolitic, Hillary Clinton was not far off the mark when she characterized a certain percentage of '45's die-hard supporters as "deplorables." To my way of thinking, while they may or may not necessarily be "deplorable," they are definitely gullible and guileless, unworldly and relatively uneducated when it comes to history, politics and economics. But above all they appear to possess less than a fourth-grader's knowledge of the past, are pathologically dissatisfied with the present, and filled to overflowing with a paranoiac fear of the future. "I'd rather be an Russian than a Democrat!" Indeed!
Oh really? Do you truly support a dictatorship which has no problem imprisoning or even executing journalists who do not toe the party line? Probably yes; I mean, hasn't your revered leader repeatedly told you that reporters are "the enemy of the people?" Do you really prefer dictators to small-d democrats? Apparently you do. But tell me this: how is wishing or preferring to be a Russian making America great again? How are deriding, disdaining, disapproving and ultimately dividing this country between Jews, Muslims and Christians, between new arrivals and decades-old immigrants (like 45's family) making the country great? How is separating children from their parents and deporting heroic non-citizen members of the U.S. Military furthering the cause of Americanism?
Answer? It cannot – in any shape or form.
What this country needs now, today, more than ever, is not a movement carrying the acronym MAGA; we need one based on the letters MASA - e.g. "Make American Sane Again." Make America a place where liars and and provocateurs are disbelieved at best, vilified and buried under 7 million metric tons of litigation at worst. In Spanish, "masa" means "dough" - something which ultimately becomes a basic staple of life . . . namely, bread. What this country cries out for is more "masa" (bread) and less mendacity.
Make sure you go to the polls in November (If not earlier) and help "Make America Sane Again."
569 days down;
904 days to go;
83 days until the midterm election.
Copyright©2018 Kurt F. Stone