Undermining Hope (Candy, Cell Phones, and Potato Bugs)
Originally Posted 11/14/2012
My wife, Kasia, told me the story from her family’s history this morning. I already knew that her grandmother, after surviving the devastating hardships of World War II in Eastern Poland with two small children, being forcibly repatriated to a small village near Glogow, Poland (ethnically cleansed in today’s lexicon), and surviving to the see the return of her husband from Stalin’s Gulags (she had thought he was executed along with her two brothers by the NKVD/KGB ),and the loss of her oldest daughter to the flu and malnutrition, resumed her career as a school teacher.
One of the hallmarks of the educational system in Soviet dominated, post-war Poland was the attempt to undermine any hope the Polish people might place in non-socialist ideologies or people. They did so by attacking the premises of faith in God, family, and any potential partners in freedom.
Kasia’s grandmother passed on to her family how the NKVD/ KGB sought to eliminate any faith in God by teaching children in a food scarce environment that only Uncle Stalin could fulfill their needs. The “teachers” responsible for political indoctrination knew the children’s parents could not afford nor find sweets on the devastated economy. They invited the children to pray and ask God for candy. When no candy materialized, the children were invited to ask Uncle Stalin for candy by writing letters to him. Those letters were answered with candy provided through the “teachers.” The message for the children was clear: neither God nor their families could give them candy, but the government would.
Kasia’s reason for sharing the story with me was the Obama Administration’s free phone giveaway just before the election struck her as so similar to the Soviet use of children’s candy to get people to put their faith in the government; rather than relying on faith in God, our personal efforts, and the strength of our families to improve our lives. It is no coincidence that so much of the Democratic “get in line and stay in line” voting effort was oriented on social media and text messages sent to cell phones.
One can only wonder how many voter registration cards found their ways into the hands of first time voters in close proximity to where those same hands received their new cell phones. One must also wonder how many of those same phone numbers ended up on the election-day text and tweet lists of the Democratic Party.
Another method of undermining hope, which Kasia witnessed in her own childhood, was to attack any potential partners in freedom by blaming them for failures in the great socialist economy. In the 1970’s, Poland experienced an infestation of the Colorado Potato Beetle which severely damaged the potato harvests. The propaganda films from that era blame the United States as having caused the epidemic of tuber eating insects. Of course, those films totally ignore the releases of the insects by the Nazis in neighboring Germany during the war and the inability of the government directed economies to meet the demands of the market for pesticides.
Just as the Communist government in Poland blamed the United States for the potato beetle infestation, so the Democratic campaign commercials blamed Romney and Bain Capital for lost jobs and the death of union family members. This effort to undermine the hope opposing voters might have had in Mitt Romney to restore the economy also worked. Although Romney and Bain saved many companies and created hundreds of thousands of jobs, millions of unemployed anti-Obama voters believed enough of the anti-Romney potato beetle propaganda, and stayed home.
A third and most disturbing part of this strategy of undermining hope has been the Democratic message that the demographics in America have changed so much that that it is impossible for the Republicans to ever gain a majority again; “they are just too old and too white” and must change their policy positions to get younger minority voters. At the street-tweet level, this message is taking on racist overtones and telling minority voters that this is the way to make racist old white people pay for Obama’s programs.
The Democratic message of “Hope” truly undermines the hope of the American Dream.