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OPINION

Moscow on the Potomac

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

The US of 2023 resembles Russia of the 1980s, back in the USSR.

Picture living in the Soviet Union circa 1980. You wake up and turn on the state-run radio. The great war in Afghanistan is going exceptionally well. You know that story is a lie, as your neighbors just buried their son, and your cousin tells of the horrors of fighting the Mujahideen in the frozen mountains. The following story speaks of the great economic success of the most recent Five Year Plan. You know it's also a lie, as there has been no meat in the local stores for weeks, and the lines outside bakeries are only getting longer. Giving up on the radio, you grab a fresh edition of Pravda. The United States is denounced as a dangerous, nationalistic threat to world peace. East German "women" are also lauded for winning 38 gold medals at a recent international track competition. In an unrelated story, there is a world shortage of synthetic testosterone.

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Now, let's move to the present-day US. You get up and turn on any of the morning programs with the presenters who do not know how to stop smiling. First, they tell us that the war in Ukraine is so successful that the US and its allies will send a few billion dollars more in weaponry shortly. Next, you learn that inflation is good for you, as it is proof of a booming economy. Then, you see that many items that you used to buy are too expensive, but hey, now you know it's a good thing. And forget about baby formula. Then, having had enough of the TV personalities, you open your New York Times to learn that Republican MAGA extremists are a dangerous nationalist threat to world peace. The paper of record also celebrates a trans "woman" winning a bike race by nearly three hours. Next, the Washington Post has a long article denouncing Bobby Kennedy Jr. as a "vax denier" who dared to question the saintly Dr. Fauci. Calling the very bright Kennedy who has the receipts on Fauci a "kook" brings back memories of the Soviets sending dissidents to mental hospitals to give them powerful drugs to make them more open to the wonders of Communism. 

You leave your drab flat in Moscow and take your Lada to work. Gas is expensive. You get to work. You know that if you make a joke about Brezhnev, complain about the long lines for food, or speak badly about Stalin, you will find a car and two thugs waiting for you after work. The KGB is a thoroughly political body whose purpose is to keep the Communists in power and to root out any troublemakers. You don't make much money. As the old Soviet saying goes, "They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work." 

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Now, let's jump forward again to 2023. You love your big American car, but you know that in a few years, you will be forced to buy an electric box with wheels to appease the green climate goddess who is angry. Gas is also expensive, twice the price of when Trump was president. You get to work and know that if you joke about a trans colleague or make fun of your gay boss, you won't be arrested, but you'll find yourself unemployed and unemployable. The FBI is a thoroughly political body that aims to keep the Democrats in power. If you show up at a school board meeting to demand that your kids not be exposed to pornography or if you pray quietly outside an abortion clinic, you might find an FBI SWAT team outside your door one morning.

The Communists always knew that education was the best form of brainwashing, and children were taught about the wonders of the USSR and the evils of the US and the West. There is a story from the 1950s of a teacher encouraging her students that "Stalin is your father, and Russia is your mother!" She then asked one of her students what he wanted to be when he grew up. He answered, "An orphan." Only through the Covid emergency and home studies did parents learn what they were teaching their kids. Instead of traditional reading, writing, and arithmetic, kids were getting heavy doses of trans ideology, critical race theory, the 1619 Project, or how evil the US was. Likewise, left-wing teachers brainwash their students like their counterparts in the Soviet Union once did. And for both groups of teachers, the US is always the root of all evil.

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Sports in the Soviet Union existed to promote the greatness of the Communist system. The Soviet hockey team famously threw their silver medals from the 1980 Olympics in the garbage rather than bring them home with them. Likewise, today's sports involve "the Black National Anthem," not standing for the Stars and Stripes, and BLM slogans on shirts and in the stands. Instead of sports and movies being for recreation and enjoyment, they are vehicles to push forward the ideology of the Left. Americans used to go to movies to depart this world for two hours; now, they—like their counterparts from the Soviet Union—are subjected to hours of ideological training. Modern movies—except Top Gun and a few others—are vehicles for lecturing on climate change, homosexuality, trans ideology, and the evil of white men and the United States.

The US is not the USSR. Still, the government, media, universities, sports, and Hollywood move in lockstep and do not accept any deviation from the accepted worldview. FBI agents are used to intimidating enemies of the Democrats, while media and social networks work to enforce the official view on every subject. How they quickly shut down the Hunter Biden laptop story is terrifying, and the old Soviet leaders would have clapped with approval that a person could not send the original link of the story to a friend on Twitter or Facebook.

The US needs new leadership, one that takes pride in the country's founding principles and will work to end the Left's domination of Americans' lives. Americans are a free people, and new leaders must dismantle the FBI and other surveillance organizations and let people express themselves freely without fear of retribution or punishment. The Soviet Union collapsed under the weight of its own destructive ideology; the same will be true of the American Left. The dramatic decline in Bud Light sales after the ad with a trans spokesman and the failure of numerous "woke" movies are harbingers. Americans want normal. And it will come.

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