Thus far in the 2020 Presidential campaign, neither President Trump nor Mr. Biden has found a campaign theme that resonates with the public. I don’t know that any single theme would be sufficient to address that lack. But for President Trump, I think there is one theme with widespread appeal that could make a difference: what is at stake in November is your right to think, say, and write what you want to. If the Democrats win and you are not a cultural Marxist, you may lose your freedom of thought and expression.
The evidence for this is rich and getting richer, thanks to the cultural Marxists’s premature celebration of victory. On campuses across the country, professors and students find themselves facing expulsion, firing, harassment, and sometimes physical violence if they challenge any of the cultural Marxists’ ideological claptrap. They may even be sentenced to “re-education” in the form of “sensitivity training,” which is psychological conditioning to mouth cultural Marxism’s lies. One does not have to be an historian to see the parallels with what happened in Marxist states like the Soviet Union.
Nor is the aspirational totalitarianism of cultural Marxism only to be found on campuses. We now see it in the streets of Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and elsewhere, as Marxist youth trash and burn small businesses the owners (sometimes minority members themselves) have put their lives into.
And we see it in rising urban and suburban crime rates as young black males calculate that police are now afraid to arrest them since the cop, rather than the criminal, may get in trouble. “Support your local police” is not just a nice idea; it is essential if order is to be preserved.
It is not hard to see how this theme could translate into powerful television advertising for President Trump’s re-election. Show scenes of Left-wing youth rioting, destroying property and burning books (yes, they are doing that too) coupled with Democrats defending the rioters. Interview small business owners, men and women, White and minority, who have lost everything to the arson and looting. Get black inner-city residents to talk on camera about how crime ruins their lives.
President Trump has talked in several recent speeches about the fact that many of the demonstrators are Marxists. It might go over some of the audience’s head, but he should consider using the term “cultural Marxism”. That way the Democrats, especially Mr. Biden, could not defend themselves by pointing to past foreign policy positions that opposed the Soviet Union. That was Marxism-Leninism, this is cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School, of Horkheimer, Adorno, and Marcuse. They are different, but they are both forms of Marxism.
As every good propagandist has always known, the most effective propaganda is propaganda that is true. The truth is that many Americans already feel restrained from saying what they think on a wide variety of topics. If a social media post or casual remark in the workplace is deemed “politically incorrect”, their job and even their whole career may be on the line. How did we get to a point where any American is afraid to say what they think? It’s not a case of “this could happen here;” it already has happened here. We have already lost a substantial part of our freedom of speech.
If President Trump received the vote of all American citizens who are now afraid to say what they think on any topic, in any place, he would win in a landslide. Freedom of thought and expression have been fundamental to defining America ever since the Constitution was ratified. The average American knows it is under threat because he is under threat himself. One wrong word, one “politically incorrect” post, and his life may be overturned. He will be told the only way to save himself is to grovel in the dirt before the “woke” youth who are cultural Marxism’s storm troopers.
People are angry about this. All the President has to do is make the vote in November a referendum on freedom of thought and expression. The Left has created the situation; Mr. Trump merely has to point it out. It won’t hurt if people also get the message that a vote for President Trump is the third-finger salute to cultural Marxism and the looting, burning minions it has spawned.
Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.