Election 2024: A Political Renaissance for America or the Path to Totalitarianism

It has been decades in the making, but the country is now on the precipice between its traditional ideology of political liberalism and a path that will lead, far sooner than Americans might think, to totalitarianism. The historical bulwarks of Americanism and the American political system—government of the people, freedom, and liberty—have been deliberately eroded. A citizenry steeped in republican virtue, cognizant of the political ideas and principles that made America a lasting and strong constitutional republic, and knowledgeable about the duties and obligations of American citizenship have been under daily assault for years from the foreign ideology of communism. That odious ideology has operated under synonyms such as “progressivism,” “multiculturalism,” or DEI to make its poison more palatable to American audiences.

The media—the so-called “Fourth Estate”—has been another layer of protection that has been peeled away. Today, they are activists advancing the left’s agenda in all but name. Great newspapers that were lively to read and informative are no longer. One reads them now the same way Soviet citizens used to read Pravda—only by knowing the lies that are printed and surmising what is left out of the story can one come close to knowing the truth. Compare the front page of the New York Times from fifty, forty, or thirty years ago to one today, and the change is telling and sad to see. Rather than a robust culture of free speech, censorship is pervasive by the legacy and social media, Big Tech, and by a ubiquitous and devilish culture of self-censorship.

American universities were once the envy of the world, as lively academies of intellectual debate and devoted to the pursuit of knowledge are now factories of indoctrination. Their law, medical, engineering, and business schools have also been transformed into political instruments that advance the “Party Line.” Unbelievably, thought control in K-12 is even worse. Popular culture fell a long time ago, and most of it is simply a contemporary version of Soviet entertainment where the heroic worker and peasant defeat the evil capitalist and priest. Worse still is the promotion of degeneracy and decadence with gender reassignment led by a teacher’s union that more resembles a Clockwork Orange ensemble than as the protectors of the most vulnerable in our society—our children.

As alarming as these developments are, what is worse is the permanent weaponization of government against political opponents. The raids, indictments, trials, and gag orders for a former president and leading 2024 candidate demonstrate that the Constitutional rights of the most prominent political figure in American politics in this century can have his rights violated, so too can all Americans. The lawfare employed against President Trump has been specifically designed by the left to consume his time and other resources away from his campaign for President in this critically important election year.

Of course, it is not only Trump. The imprisonment of former Trump official Peter Navarro and perhaps of Trump advisor Steve Bannon is an attempt to decapitate the Make America Great Again Movement through their imprisonment and to send a message to others about what will happen to anyone who opposes the state. The persecution of Trump’s legal advisor, John Eastman, is a similar tactic. The result is that law firms will be reluctant to accept the movement’s legal challenges. These actions are the first strike in the left’s campaign of “lawfare” to disarm Trump and to deter any Republican challenge to the parameters of the election and its aftermath. It is also political muscle flexing in an attempt to intimidate anyone who would assist Trump’s campaign and an effort to demoralize his base. After the British executed Admiral John Byng in 1757, Voltaire wrote it was “to encourage the others,” and so it is today.

The irony of the many steps taken by the left to advance a totalitarian agenda is that it is they who falsely proclaim that it is Trump and the MAGA movement that are the fascists. It is the left that is actually implementing such vile and anti-American practices against their political enemies and the American people. Recently, former 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton was once again on the Sunday news shows talking about how Donald Trump would arrest his political enemies, while in reality it is only the Democratic Party and the Biden administration that have put Peter Navarro in prison, may imprison Bannon, and indicted the former President 92 times.

This cannot stand if America is to survive as a constitutional republic. If it does, then the country is on the path to totalitarianism. Totalitarianism does not just show up one day, springing forth fully formed like Athena from the head of Zeus. But it does come quickly, more so than most Americans realize, as the ideology, laws, norms, and culture are eroded by the new revolutionary regime. When they seized power in 1917, the Bolsheviks did not know how far they could push the Russian people, but that was not for lack of intent or for a lack trying. Their ambition was to remake everything—culture, politics, economics, the arts, science, diplomacy, education, values, and thought. Every year, they tightened their grip until they crushed the people in the horrors of Stalinism. It took only twenty years from the time the Bolsheviks came to power to the show trials of mature Stalinism.

Nothing is decided and there will be many ups and downs, twists and turns, and surprises between now and Election Day. The election of 2024 is critical and as important as any in its history. Assuming the election’s fidelity—that this assumption must be made is an indication of how close the country is flirting with totalitarianism—it will provide Americans with the clearest choice in our history since the Civil War. When that choice is understood to be one between the continuation of the American Republic or to enter the hell of totalitarianism, the election will spark a renaissance of America’s traditional political ideology, institutions, values and culture. This election provides the opportunity to drive a stake through the heart of totalitarianism “with an American face,” as Americans, having seen into the abyss, will reject the totalitarian path. A re-birth of the understanding of the value of American citizenship—that spirit of 1776—and of our inalienable and universal freedoms can come from the 2024 election. To ensure that positive outcome will require not only support for President Trump but also extraordinary vigilance by the American people through the election and its aftermath.

James E. Fanell and Bradley A. Thayer are authors of Embracing Communist China:  America’s Greatest Strategic Failure.

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About James E. Fanell and Bradley A. Thayer

James Fanell is a government fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, a retired captain in the U.S. Navy and a former director of intelligence and information operations for the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Bradley A. Thayer is a Founding Member of the Committee on Present Danger China and the coauthor with Lianchao Han of Understanding the China Threat.

Photo: NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 16: Former U.S. President Donald Trump departs the courtroom following the day's proceedings in his criminal trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 16, 2024 in New York City. Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records last year, which prosecutors say was an effort to hide a potential sex scandal, both before and after the 2016 presidential election. Trump is the first former U.S. president to face trial on criminal charges. (Photo by Steven Hirsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Notable Replies

  1. The Democrat’s nationally excessive activism against Trump and Republicans is an indication of the strength of the communist movement and foothold in America. They can fight to preserve the totalitarian seed planted 60 years ago because the fight has always been part of the plan. The fact that their defense is so pervasive in all aspects of America’s constitutional values is because their communist beliefs are so entrenched.

  2. The left is in mop-up mode now. But unfortunately, way too many idealists and foolish optimists think we can vote ourselves out of this.

    The sad reality is we have lost the almost all the battles and probably the war, but all is not necessarily lost. However, to truly reverse the course we are on will take an epic change in the hearts and minds of the public–and it will take a willingness to be ruthless and merciless beyond comprehension.

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