The Ghost of Stalin Stalks the White House

8 mins read

Image: “Stalin and colleagues, 1929” from the Library of Congress. Stalin is in the center.

Trump Declares War on U.S. Cities

Masked men. Insignia-free uniforms. No probable cause. No Miranda. Hoods. Unmarked vans. Undisclosed locations. Welcome to the Soviet Union / United States of America. 

The Ghost of Stalin Stalks the White House

The similarities are too much to ignore. Too dangerous to disregard.

“Officers have been using unmarked vehicles … driving up to people, detaining individuals with no explanation about why they are being arrested, and driving off.

“A car, or sometimes a disguised commercial van, would park in the street in front of the building. Several officers … would knock on the door.”

(He) “used terms such as ‘enemy of the people.’”

“Police operated unpredictably, arresting people not only in the dark of night but also in the light of day. No matter when or where arrests occurred, special trucks outfitted with tiny prison cells hauled the new prisoners to their tormentors in an interrogation prison.”

“I had my beanie pulled over my face so I couldn’t see and they held my hands over my head … It was basically a process of facing many walls and corners as they patted me down and took my picture and rummaged through my belongings.”

These statements describe the “Great Purge” or “Great Terror” in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union in the 1930s and what is happening in Portland, Oregon today.

The similarities are striking.

Masked Agents, Unmasked Civilians

In the United States I grew up in, the very idea of similarities existing between the Soviet Union and the United States was abhorrent.

Yet here we are.

Masked men. Insignia-free uniforms. No probable cause. No Miranda warnings. Hoods covering eyes. Unmarked vans. Dead of night. Undisclosed locations.

Some wars can be both secretive and conspicuous at the same time. Joseph Stalin conducted one against his own political party and citizenry during the 1930s. Donald Trump is now conducting one against U.S. citizens in Portland, with plans to expand it to other cities.

In both cases, people are (were) aware they are (were) happening. In the case of Trump, his minions have come straight out with it — federal agents will be deployed in the nation’s largest cities, they say, clearly without any concern. What they aren’t saying is also clear: officers in other U.S. cities will be using the same secretive, and likely unlawful, tactics currently employed by federal agents in Portland.

The other characteristic these two wars have in common is the ulterior motives driving them.

Stalin claimed “… he had uncovered a dangerous conspiracy of anti-Stalinist Communists,” but the truth was the Soviet dictator had an ulterior motive: to rid his country of any and all opposition to his absolute power.

Trump’s stated purpose is to maintain law and order in cities where the local authorities are not doing their jobs which is patently false. The wannabe dictator’s true goal is to distract U.S. voters from his abysmal failure in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, scare voters in a way that improves his polling numbers and makes it possible to win the presidential election in November.

The “law and order” ploy isn’t working so far. It’s tough to distract people from a pandemic that’s killing their family members, friends and neighbors, and who are seeing national coronavirus data daily. 

Like this —

As of 7:34 a.m. EST yesterday, the number of coronavirus cases in the United States was more than 3.8 million, a number that’s growing in large part because too many Americans refuse to wear a mask or social distance. Nearly 141,000 people have died, including infants, children and adults of all ages. Meanwhile, a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has found that the “… actual number of coronavirus cases is 12 times higher than reported — with 50 percent more deaths.”

A Deeper, More Duplicitous Motivation

Trump has said multiple times that “president for life” has a good ring to it. These statements have been reported as “jokes,” but we need to believe he’s serious. 

He wants to be the ruler of the United States of America. Forever.

And what better way to start the transformation from president to dictator than to deploy an anonymous repression force into Portland, where people are protesting police brutality. And once those agents have the experience of Portland under their belts, take the lessons they’ve learned to places where the majority of people disapprove of Trump’s performance and disagree with his administration’s actions, a.k.a. America’s largest cities. Then begin cracking down on other areas of the nation. Secret away in unmarked vans to undisclosed locations people who dare express dissenting opinions. Give no justification for their detention. Suspend habeas corpus. Make them serve years of hard labor. Execute them.

If that progression of authoritarian actions sounds far-fetched, read this —

“When citizens of Stalin’s Soviet Union climbed into bed at night, an uninterrupted sleep was never a guarantee. The secret police’s sharp 2 a.m. knock often launched an odyssey into the hellish depths of the Gulag. Many would never return alive.”

And today, Stalin’s ghost stalks the halls of the White House. Make no mistake — the instigator of the “Great Terror” can come again and, in fact, his spirit is already here. 

Trump, the home-grown dictator, is already subverting our democracy. All he needs to continue and possibly complete the job is for true patriots to look the other way, hoping the threat of despotism will just go away.


Read more by Martin C. Fredricks IV at the IV Words blog.

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Martin C. “Red” Fredricks IV is a husband, father of three, proud Fargoan (N.D.), small business owner, reader, writer and progressive. He's also the founder of the IV Words Blog ( Finally, he's a ginger; ergo the “Red.” Living blue in a deep red state is tough, but somehow, day by day, he gets by.

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