Trump, Stalin, Applause & Treason in Leadership Cults

    Trump Today in Ohio Adoration Rally:

    ABC News: President Trump says Democrats not applauding at the State of the Union were "un-American...can we call that treason? Why not."

    NYT:   Trump Accuses Democrats of ‘Treason’ Amid Market Rout

    WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday accused Democrats who did not clap during his State of the Union address of being un-American and even treasonous....





    Applause and treason under Communism and Joseph Stalin, 1930's.

    Joseph Stalin  was a Soviet revolutionary and political leader. Governing the Soviet Union as its dictator from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953, he served as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1952...

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote a 3 volume work about the Soviet forced labor camp system. The book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp. Written between 1958 and 1968, it was published in the West in 1973.

    From the Gulag Archipelago, pp 69-70

    The History of Our Sewage Disposal System
    pg. 69

    In the arrest of rank-and-file members of the Party there was
    evidently a hidden theme not directly stated anywhere in the
    indictments and verdicts: that arrests should be carried out
    predominantly among Party members who had joined before

        Here is one vignette from those years as it actually occurred.
    A district Party conference was under way in Moscow Province.
    It was presided over by a new secretary of the District Party
    Committee, replacing one recently arrested. At the conclusion
    of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for.
    Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to
    their feet during the conference at every mention of his name).
    The small hall echoed with "stormy applause, rising to an ovation."
    For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the "stormy applause rising to
    an ovation," continued.  But palms were getting
    sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people
    were panting from exhaustion.  It was becoming insufferably silly
    even to those who adored Stalin. However, who would
    dare be the first to stop?  The secretary of the District Party
    Committee could have done it.  He was standing on the platform,
    and it was he who had just called for the ovation.  But he was a
    newcomer.  He had taken the place of a man who'd been arrested.
    He was afraid! After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall
    applauding and watching to see who quit first!  And in that obscure,
    small hall, unknown to the Leader, the applause went on
    -- six, seven, eight minutes!  They were done for!  Their goose
    was cooked!  They couldn't stop now till they collapsed with
    heart attacks!  At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they
    could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously,
    not so eagerly --but up there with the presidium where everyone
    could see them?  The director of the local paper factory, an

    pg. 70

    independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium.
    Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation,
    he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes!  Ten!  In anguish he
    watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the
    latter dared not stop.  Insanity!  to the last man!  with make-
    believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with
    faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on
    applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried
    out of the hall on stretchers!  And even those who were left
    would not falter.....Then, after eleven minutes, the director of
    the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat
    down in his seat.  and, oh, a miracle took place!  Where had the
    universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone?  To a man
    everyone else stopped dead and sat down.  They had been saved!
    The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving

        That, however, was how they discovered who the independent
    people were.  And that was how they went about eliminating
    them.  That same night the factory director was arrested. 
    easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite


    His audience smiles when he says treason. I hope other voters remember his words in November. Republicans in Congress are not going to challenge Trump. Democrats are the only ones who can save the country from the authoritarian.

    Republicans are unremarkably silent on Trump's new definition of treason. Jean LeCarre on Fresh Air last September said there is a perverse movement among right wing global plutocrats, from Kansas to Moscow, to destroy democratic systems and institutions to perpetuate and increase their wealth, and cement their control of government and political power..

    Trump is a born hard wired democracy, law and free press hating would be dictator, a liar, greedy beyond measure, and a racist to boot.

    "Treason", mobs, and authoritarian leadership cults, comment at WaPo:

    Seventy years ago I was a young American girl living in Buenos Aires when my father's work took us there. The President of Argentina was Juan Peron, widely accepted to be a dictator. Peron then redefined treason as criticism of himself. One newspaper, La Prensa, criticized him. On a night in 1947 Peronista goons went to La Prensa and smashed the printing presses. Afterward they came downtown and rioted all night in the streets beneath our apartment balcony. They threw passengers off the trams and filled the trams with themselves, even on rooftops, and all night they helled around town intimidating people and chanting PERON PERON PERON. Soon after that night Dad came home with the news that Peron had passed a law making it an Act of Treason to criticize him or his government. Journalists who did so were arrested and not heard from again. Even at the American school we knew not to talk about Peron as it could get our families in trouble. Our neighbor's house was searched three times. Another neighbor was allowed to stay in a state school only if he would swear allegiance to Peron.

    Do you think this couldn't happen here?

    My daily sense of deja vu suggests to me that it is happening already. For God's sake, someone stop Trump before he destroys the United States. He does not tolerate criticism and he is vengeful. His vanity and ego should not be setting our standard of freedom. Criticism of Trump cannot be allowed to be defined as treason or any other crime.

    The news media is acting as if we are facing a simple partisan division. Trump supporters want to Vert grow our democracy. In Pennsylvania, Republicans lost their attempt at unconstitutional gerrymandering and are responding by attempting to oust Democratic judges. We are in peril.

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