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15 Jan, 2021 14:33

Hollywood could teach Joseph Stalin some new tricks about erasing history amid calls to remove Trump's ‘Home Alone’ cameo

Hollywood could teach Joseph Stalin some new tricks about erasing history amid calls to remove Trump's ‘Home Alone’ cameo

Cancel culture is now rampant in the entertainment industry, which wants to edit Trump from Hollywood history. Stalin would be proud, but this kind of thinking is dangerous and could have devastating consequences for the US.

If you blinked, you’d have missed it – a brief cameo appearance by Donald Trump speaking to child actor Macaulay Culkin in the 1992 film ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’.

The now notorious scene takes place inside the iconic Plaza Hotel where Trump tells Culkin, playing the role of Kevin McCallister in the popular Christmas film, “down the hall and to the left.” Not exactly R-rated material. Fast forward to these touchy times and Culkin says he is “sold” on the idea of having Trump digitally replaced from the John Hughes film.

So it’s not enough to vote out Donald Trump after four tumultuous years in the White House; it’s not enough to impeach him, twice; it’s not enough to remove him from every major social media platform, effectively alienating him from his 75 million supporters. Now the insatiable woke wolves must work retroactively to delete from the public mind any positive associations it may still have with the real estate magnate turned American president.

But this little harangue is not really about Donald Trump, nor is it about Hollywood, where the annual Academy Award ceremonies have become blood-curdling 1984-style Trump hate-fests. Even less is this about Macaulay Culkin, who, like many other famous child actors, has struggled throughout adulthood to prove he’s just as lovable as his former pintsize self. Instead, this is about the dangers of forgetting history and being “condemned to repeat it.

Whether Hollywood has forgotten or not, there have been other attempts throughout history to erase the historical record. One famous case involved that of Nikolay Yezhov, the head of the feared NKVD under Joseph Stalin, who presided over trials and executions (1936-1938) during the Great Purge, a rather joyless period when hundreds of thousands perished without a trace.

Yezhov, like so many other Stalin subordinates, had the misfortune of falling out of favor with the Soviet leader and was summarily executed. At this point, the record keepers went to work purging Yezhov from the historical record, together with any association he had with Uncle Joe. One rare photograph that managed to escape the ‘editing’ process shows Stalin and Yezhov, certainly in better days, strolling chummily along the banks of some river. Following Yezhov’s death, his image was duly removed from the photograph as though he had never been there.

While the analogy is not perfect – even Trump’s most serious detractors would have trouble comparing him to a historical figure who signed off on the death of up to a million people – it should nevertheless give us tremendous pause that Hollywood is now resorting to the same disappearing act once used by the premier arch enemy of the United States.

Ironically, as it were, the US is currently in the midst of its own Great Purge, where untold millions of social media users – including the president – have been forcibly silenced into submission. This is a shocking turn of events for the self-styled ‘greatest democracy in the world’. Meanwhile, amid this crackdown by the Big Tech tyrants, monuments to historical leaders are being removed from the town square, while the college campus, once the citadel of free thought, is ‘lecturing’ students as to what they can and cannot think.

If the social justice mob continues to work itself into a mindless frenzy over the most trivial things – like the brief presence of Trump in a film – would anyone be surprised to see Nazi-style book burnings becoming the new social event of the year? Many are predicting such a grim future, where this new age of intolerance has almost succeeded in killing the art of comedy. What’s left for a nation that can’t even laugh at itself? Mass hysteria comes to mind.

Amid this bout of collective insanity, which only promises to be exacerbated in the US under yet another Joe, beholden as Biden is to the radical wing of the Democratic Party, we would do well to start asking some uncomfortable questions. First and foremost, when exactly does ‘cancel culture’ morph into ‘gulag culture’? I suppose the answer to that question would be ‘when it happens’, but by then it will be like riding the proverbial tiger; nobody will be brave enough to dismount.

For anyone who thinks that such a crazy thing could not happen in Glorious Nation America, think again. Already, otherwise intelligent people are bantering about starting gulags for conservatives; you know, that group of approximately 150 million Americans that doesn’t think exactly like the other 150 million. Why, those heathens!

In a sting operation carried out last year by Project Veritas, a staff worker for Bernie Sanders was caught musing in a hidden camera video about sending Republicans to “reeducation camps.”

We have a joke that, people we don’t like, we say send them to the gulag. What will help is when we send all the Republicans to the reeducation camps,” said Martin Weissgerber, a South Carolina field organizer. “Can you imagine Mitch McConnell? Lindsey Graham?” Yes, that is what passes as humor in the Brave New America.

For anyone who thought that was just a fluke, a lone nutjob, Project Veritas caught yet another like-minded individual, Michael Beller, Principal Counsel at PBS, the foremost provider of educational programs into American homes, also alluding to re-education camps.

Even if Biden wins, we go for all the Republican voters, and Homeland Security will take their children away,” Beller told an undercover journalist. “And we’ll put them (Trump supporters) into re-education camps.”

This sort of twisted thinking could easily cascade into something beyond anyone’s ability to control. Yet here is the problem that few people are talking about, because, well, they’ve been banned from doing so: The progressive left is just as responsible – and probably more so – for the dangerous level of divisiveness that has settled upon the nation like napalm.

For every social media account that is disappeared, for every monument that is pulled down, for every conservative that is exiled to the internet archipelago for ‘wrongthink’, the national temperature only increases. And as certain as the sun will rise tomorrow, the cauldron will eventually blow. ‘Canceling’ and ‘disappearing’ is no way for a nation to mend its differences and move forward.

The tensions will reach a crescendo, kicking off a series of chain events that will be impossible to contain, and impossible to imagine – re-education camps, pogroms, and, heaven forbid, mass killing – may come to fruition. In order to prevent such a scenario, both sides must be willing to listen to the other.

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, the Soviet dissident, seemed to understand the essence of the problem back in 1978, when he said during his famous Harvard Address: “I have received letters in America from highly intelligent persons, maybe a teacher in a faraway small college who could do much for the renewal and salvation of his country, but his country cannot hear him because the media are not interested in him. This gives birth to strong mass prejudices, to blindness, which is most dangerous in our dynamic era.”

Indeed, at a time when the technological ability to communicate has never been greater, there is no excuse for silencing the opposition. And certainly no need to ‘edit’ Donald Trump out of a Hollywood film. Get a grip, America, and heed the past. It has valuable lessons you cannot afford to miss.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.