Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Comrade Trump

Donald Trump won the electoral college vote. You would think this would be enough for him. Hillary Clinton got about two million more popular votes than he did. But Trump wants to rewrite history. He claims that he actually won the popular vote, because those votes for Clinton were illegal. See the USA Today article. He wants not only the presidency but wants history to remember him as the recipient of the huge and virtually uncontested adoration of Americans.

And he can do it.

Will Trump, by his endless repetition of his claims, alter the records of history in the United States? Will future generations of American students learn that Trump led an immense popular revolution? This sort of thing has happened before, though not in America.

Joseph Stalin was one of the Bolshevik leaders of the Russian Revolution in 1917. There were others who worked beside him and were just as important. But when Stalin grabbed power in the Soviet Union, he proceeded to literally rewrite the history of the Revolution. As one by one his former comrades-in-arms began to fall from his favor, Stalin literally had them purged out of the photographs of the period. Consider this set of four images. The original photograph shows four men—Stalin and three comrades who fought with him. One by one, the images of the others were erased until Stalin is left alone, implying that he single-handedly led the Revolution. The others were literally erased from history.

Here is another example. Nikolai Yezhov was the water commissar in Moscow. Here is the original photo of him with Stalin:

But Yezhov later fell from favor with Stalin, who had him erased from the photo:

Trump is arrogant enough, and has enough popular support, that He could conceivably rewrite American history to fit his views, particularly with regard to himself.

You can find more information, and the images I have used, here.

In a similar fashion, Adolf Hitler got everyone in Germany and outside Germany to think that all Germans supported, indeed worshiped, Him. This was to the advantage of Hitler, who pretended that there never had been any serious opposition to Him, and to the Allies, who wanted to maintain the fiction that all Germans were Nazis. History does not even remember that there were Gentile white Germans in 1940 who were not Nazis. There were many thousands of them, as explained here; 77,000 of them were executed by the Nazis.

The human mind did not evolve to reason; it evolved to rationalize. To the human mind, a lie supported by religious fervor (just as most conservative Christians virtually worship Trump) is just as good as, and more useful than, the truth. If history is any guide, Trump and his religious followers can rewrite American history so that future generations of Americans will not even know that those of us who oppose Trump even existed. Remember that images can be doctored on the internet, too.

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