Soviets, Democrats, and the Captive Soul

Years ago, we flew into Newark airport in New Jersey after almost three years living abroad as expats -- mostly in St. Petersburg, Russia.  (I realize that in today’s McCarthyesque environment with Robert Mueller at the head of the new Unamerican Activities Committee, that experience could land me in solitary confinement), but back then it was an “emerging market” and we were explorers on that frontier.  While it was a dark, cold, and lonely experience, it was one that I would do again in a heartbeat. 

It was living amongst the Russians that I got a glimpse into their soul through what I saw as “schizophrenic” eyes -- starving for products, stocked store shelves, decent food, shoes that fit, and mostly, the freedom to come and go as they please, vote as they please, and express themselves as they please without the iron fist and heavy boot of the State; and thrilled that the Soviet Empire had collapsed. While so many of them recognized the burden that now lay upon them -- to create a freer society than the one they inhabited for the last seventy-some years, and one that embraced capitalism as opposed to Marxism -- far too many others saw their new reality as a slap in their Slavic faces.  After all, they were a superpower!  Their man got into space first, they beat back the Nazis, they were more educated and cultured, they dominated the classical music and ballet world, cleaned up in Olympic after Olympic, and had vast natural resources that allowed them to be a nation unto itself without any need for anything from the outside world (except good ideas and groundbreaking innovations and, never mind the fact that they couldn’t extract most of those resources safely from the ground or bring them to market).  Not only that, they were smarter than the stupid Americans. 

These Russians were disgusted that the Americans, liberty, and capitalism had won the Cold War.  They never expected to be defeated and yet, here they were on the ash heap of history.  They were resentful and fiercely nationalistic with a pride that went beyond patriotism.  They dug in their heels waiting for a leader who wasn’t the American quisling Yeltsin was. 

I also had a front seat view of the vestiges of (Soviet) communism.  Creativity and innovation, apart from needs dictated by the state and the innovation that required, had been stifled for so long that, that in some ways, it wasn’t part of their cultural fabric anymore.  Comrades continued to accept the continued emptiness on store shelves.  Many lacked the ingenuity and initiative required to take care of things that the omnipotent State usually took care of.  That reminds me of the elderly couple on a 5th-floor walkup whose elevator had broken down.  It had been months since they could go downstairs and shop.  Every day fellow apartment dwellers brought them food.  It never occurred to any of them to find someone to repair the elevator and pay for it out of their own pockets.  They just waited for the “State” to come and fix it.  And so they waited for a new leader who would restore Russian pride and dominance.  In the meantime, those vast resources remained underutilized and wide open for exploitation and control by unsavory thugs.

The stronger this mafia grew, the greater presence they had in every aspect of the everyday lives of your average ex-Soviet.  The wealthier and more influential the oligarchs became, these relics of the Soviet Empire became even more resentful of the West, its puny ideals and irrelevant values.  It didn’t take long for them to embrace the strongmen because they stocked the shelves and brought petrol to the gas stations and restored pride.  This is how a guy like Putin came to and remains in power; this is why most Russians embraced the invasions of Eastern Ukraine, Crimea, and Georgia. 

I saw the liberal-progressive-Marxist-socialist mind crushed by policies that benefitted the few and hurt the most.  I saw the Soviet soul reduced almost to nonexistence -- where nobody cared when a little boy was disemboweled by some monster, donations for orphans never made it to the orphans but were pilfered and sold by the workers in the orphanages, and speeding motorists unemotionally ran over whoever was in their way crossing the street, including little old ladies and kids.  I saw an angry population so used to hard times and heavy-handed leadership from Tsars to Bolsheviks to Commissars to Premiers, and so heavily propagandized, that when the gift horse of freedom was finally thrust upon them, they could only look at its mouth. 

They had to blame someone for their woes.  So, they blamed the Americans -- at the time, their corporate benefactors, and also the victors.

These observations played a huge role when I “walked away” from being a registered Democrat who reflexively voted without much thought.  And it all came rushing in as we approached the landing strip at EWR.  It was a clear day and I had a solid view of the city of Newark where my father was born.  I thought about that city and the other municipalities of New Jersey and the many communities scattered across the fruited plains that were run by Democrats, had significant minority populations, and had been funneled billions of taxpayer dollars to fight Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty -- not to mention billions in charitable donations through a multitude or organizations that promised to do good -- and I realized something.  

All that money accomplished very little because it really did just keep “the black man” in his place, in the ghetto, in underperforming schools, on the dole, on bread lines waiting for his handout from the master -- the Democratic Party.  The Democrats would funnel as much money as they could to look as if they were helping people when they just continued to enslave them.  Their policies didn’t help the majority of blacks in these communities; it just perpetuated the status quo, and actually things got worse as literacy rates declined, and single motherhood, the incarceration of young men, and drug trafficking and abuse, got worse.

These communities and the Democrats who created them needed a scapegoat. That scapegoat has two heads:  one is white and the other is conservative.    

I know as a Trump supporter, a Tea Partier, a white person, a conservative, and a Republican, I am ipso facto a racist, but in the airplane then, and to this very day, I promise you that is not the America I want for America’s blacks.  And I don’t know any people from any of these demographics that feel that way either.  We want all Americans to do well, to thrive, to achieve their dreams.  We want the least amount of government with the most amount of liberty for all Americans and all of those striving to become Americans, legally.

The notion that we hate blacks, want to oppress them, lock ‘em all up in chains is just a figment of the Democrats’ collective imagination.  It is a myth (fake news, if you will) perpetuated by the media, our schools, our houses of worship, and the pop culture.  It is a mantra created by Democrats to foment discord, resentment, and chaos; to generate votes for DNC candidates and policies; and to create crises that are ripe for them to exploit to garner more votes.    

We really don’t need the Russians to sow the seeds of discord when we have the Democrats.  Whoopie Goldberg told Judge Jeanine Pirro in a rage on “The View” that she never saw anyone [like Trump] “whip up such hate”  or “be so dismissive” or who “whips up people to beat other people.”  She kicked her off the show and told her to get the F out of the building -- following marching orders from Maxine Waters to harass Trump supporters.  Methinks thou doth protesteth too much, Whoopie.  It is the Democrats, their machine, their policies, and their intolerant hate groups that lather up the crowds and turn to violence.   

Some black Americans are waking up and walking away (Whoopie isn’t one of them) and I have a big grin on my face when I say that.  Knowing you have a problem and admitting it is the first step towards a better life, towards enjoying all those freedoms the Democrats keep promising but rarely deliver on.  What is the problem for poor rural and inner city black Americans?  Dependence that has been cultivated over decades on the handout in exchange for a vote that only benefits the party and the candidates and leaves average Joes way behind. 

Trump won because he listened to the people, to the Tea Party, to the grassroots, to the disgruntled Democrats voting for Bernie.  He listened to black mothers looking for better schools for their children.  He heard the legal immigrants who saw the injustice of open borders.  He paid attention to the 92 million Americans of all races, creeds and religions who had stopped looking for work because of Obama’s policies. 

And then he made promises that he actually kept!  He has exposed the leftwing agenda and shown average Americans how a more limited yet more responsive government can work for us.  He exposed the double standard in the media, the academy, and the culture.  He has thrown chum to the sharks who take the bait and, in their feeding frenzy, reveal just how much they despise the average American, the legal immigrant, the entrepreneur, blue-collar workers, the military, law enforcement, and anyone who isn’t in their power base or who defies the hand that feeds them -- if you are Jewish, black, Hispanic, gay, in a union, or educated, you are the worst kind of traitor if you’ve gone to the Dark Side of Conservatism.

Trump and his supporters, including those who have walked away, will continue to reject Democrat policies  that establish a new normal for America where a robust GDP, security, prosperity, and our jobs are a thing of the past.  Nor will they be assuaged by promises that what we lost we will gain back being part of a global economy, an evolving culture, and a society of open borders. 
 
Trump's America understands that the Democrat's America will look more like Putin's Russia where wealthy, connected, elites rule, and the deplorables are forgotten.  

Years ago, we flew into Newark airport in New Jersey after almost three years living abroad as expats -- mostly in St. Petersburg, Russia.  (I realize that in today’s McCarthyesque environment with Robert Mueller at the head of the new Unamerican Activities Committee, that experience could land me in solitary confinement), but back then it was an “emerging market” and we were explorers on that frontier.  While it was a dark, cold, and lonely experience, it was one that I would do again in a heartbeat. 

It was living amongst the Russians that I got a glimpse into their soul through what I saw as “schizophrenic” eyes -- starving for products, stocked store shelves, decent food, shoes that fit, and mostly, the freedom to come and go as they please, vote as they please, and express themselves as they please without the iron fist and heavy boot of the State; and thrilled that the Soviet Empire had collapsed. While so many of them recognized the burden that now lay upon them -- to create a freer society than the one they inhabited for the last seventy-some years, and one that embraced capitalism as opposed to Marxism -- far too many others saw their new reality as a slap in their Slavic faces.  After all, they were a superpower!  Their man got into space first, they beat back the Nazis, they were more educated and cultured, they dominated the classical music and ballet world, cleaned up in Olympic after Olympic, and had vast natural resources that allowed them to be a nation unto itself without any need for anything from the outside world (except good ideas and groundbreaking innovations and, never mind the fact that they couldn’t extract most of those resources safely from the ground or bring them to market).  Not only that, they were smarter than the stupid Americans. 

These Russians were disgusted that the Americans, liberty, and capitalism had won the Cold War.  They never expected to be defeated and yet, here they were on the ash heap of history.  They were resentful and fiercely nationalistic with a pride that went beyond patriotism.  They dug in their heels waiting for a leader who wasn’t the American quisling Yeltsin was. 

I also had a front seat view of the vestiges of (Soviet) communism.  Creativity and innovation, apart from needs dictated by the state and the innovation that required, had been stifled for so long that, that in some ways, it wasn’t part of their cultural fabric anymore.  Comrades continued to accept the continued emptiness on store shelves.  Many lacked the ingenuity and initiative required to take care of things that the omnipotent State usually took care of.  That reminds me of the elderly couple on a 5th-floor walkup whose elevator had broken down.  It had been months since they could go downstairs and shop.  Every day fellow apartment dwellers brought them food.  It never occurred to any of them to find someone to repair the elevator and pay for it out of their own pockets.  They just waited for the “State” to come and fix it.  And so they waited for a new leader who would restore Russian pride and dominance.  In the meantime, those vast resources remained underutilized and wide open for exploitation and control by unsavory thugs.

The stronger this mafia grew, the greater presence they had in every aspect of the everyday lives of your average ex-Soviet.  The wealthier and more influential the oligarchs became, these relics of the Soviet Empire became even more resentful of the West, its puny ideals and irrelevant values.  It didn’t take long for them to embrace the strongmen because they stocked the shelves and brought petrol to the gas stations and restored pride.  This is how a guy like Putin came to and remains in power; this is why most Russians embraced the invasions of Eastern Ukraine, Crimea, and Georgia. 

I saw the liberal-progressive-Marxist-socialist mind crushed by policies that benefitted the few and hurt the most.  I saw the Soviet soul reduced almost to nonexistence -- where nobody cared when a little boy was disemboweled by some monster, donations for orphans never made it to the orphans but were pilfered and sold by the workers in the orphanages, and speeding motorists unemotionally ran over whoever was in their way crossing the street, including little old ladies and kids.  I saw an angry population so used to hard times and heavy-handed leadership from Tsars to Bolsheviks to Commissars to Premiers, and so heavily propagandized, that when the gift horse of freedom was finally thrust upon them, they could only look at its mouth. 

They had to blame someone for their woes.  So, they blamed the Americans -- at the time, their corporate benefactors, and also the victors.

These observations played a huge role when I “walked away” from being a registered Democrat who reflexively voted without much thought.  And it all came rushing in as we approached the landing strip at EWR.  It was a clear day and I had a solid view of the city of Newark where my father was born.  I thought about that city and the other municipalities of New Jersey and the many communities scattered across the fruited plains that were run by Democrats, had significant minority populations, and had been funneled billions of taxpayer dollars to fight Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty -- not to mention billions in charitable donations through a multitude or organizations that promised to do good -- and I realized something.  

All that money accomplished very little because it really did just keep “the black man” in his place, in the ghetto, in underperforming schools, on the dole, on bread lines waiting for his handout from the master -- the Democratic Party.  The Democrats would funnel as much money as they could to look as if they were helping people when they just continued to enslave them.  Their policies didn’t help the majority of blacks in these communities; it just perpetuated the status quo, and actually things got worse as literacy rates declined, and single motherhood, the incarceration of young men, and drug trafficking and abuse, got worse.

These communities and the Democrats who created them needed a scapegoat. That scapegoat has two heads:  one is white and the other is conservative.    

I know as a Trump supporter, a Tea Partier, a white person, a conservative, and a Republican, I am ipso facto a racist, but in the airplane then, and to this very day, I promise you that is not the America I want for America’s blacks.  And I don’t know any people from any of these demographics that feel that way either.  We want all Americans to do well, to thrive, to achieve their dreams.  We want the least amount of government with the most amount of liberty for all Americans and all of those striving to become Americans, legally.

The notion that we hate blacks, want to oppress them, lock ‘em all up in chains is just a figment of the Democrats’ collective imagination.  It is a myth (fake news, if you will) perpetuated by the media, our schools, our houses of worship, and the pop culture.  It is a mantra created by Democrats to foment discord, resentment, and chaos; to generate votes for DNC candidates and policies; and to create crises that are ripe for them to exploit to garner more votes.    

We really don’t need the Russians to sow the seeds of discord when we have the Democrats.  Whoopie Goldberg told Judge Jeanine Pirro in a rage on “The View” that she never saw anyone [like Trump] “whip up such hate”  or “be so dismissive” or who “whips up people to beat other people.”  She kicked her off the show and told her to get the F out of the building -- following marching orders from Maxine Waters to harass Trump supporters.  Methinks thou doth protesteth too much, Whoopie.  It is the Democrats, their machine, their policies, and their intolerant hate groups that lather up the crowds and turn to violence.   

Some black Americans are waking up and walking away (Whoopie isn’t one of them) and I have a big grin on my face when I say that.  Knowing you have a problem and admitting it is the first step towards a better life, towards enjoying all those freedoms the Democrats keep promising but rarely deliver on.  What is the problem for poor rural and inner city black Americans?  Dependence that has been cultivated over decades on the handout in exchange for a vote that only benefits the party and the candidates and leaves average Joes way behind. 

Trump won because he listened to the people, to the Tea Party, to the grassroots, to the disgruntled Democrats voting for Bernie.  He listened to black mothers looking for better schools for their children.  He heard the legal immigrants who saw the injustice of open borders.  He paid attention to the 92 million Americans of all races, creeds and religions who had stopped looking for work because of Obama’s policies. 

And then he made promises that he actually kept!  He has exposed the leftwing agenda and shown average Americans how a more limited yet more responsive government can work for us.  He exposed the double standard in the media, the academy, and the culture.  He has thrown chum to the sharks who take the bait and, in their feeding frenzy, reveal just how much they despise the average American, the legal immigrant, the entrepreneur, blue-collar workers, the military, law enforcement, and anyone who isn’t in their power base or who defies the hand that feeds them -- if you are Jewish, black, Hispanic, gay, in a union, or educated, you are the worst kind of traitor if you’ve gone to the Dark Side of Conservatism.

Trump and his supporters, including those who have walked away, will continue to reject Democrat policies  that establish a new normal for America where a robust GDP, security, prosperity, and our jobs are a thing of the past.  Nor will they be assuaged by promises that what we lost we will gain back being part of a global economy, an evolving culture, and a society of open borders. 
 
Trump's America understands that the Democrat's America will look more like Putin's Russia where wealthy, connected, elites rule, and the deplorables are forgotten.