It doesn't happen often, but once and a while I can't get a time-sensitive article through the editor's for any of the sites I write for. This was one of those times. The article piles on Justin Trudeau and other Leftists who made a fool of themselves praising or at least sort-of-praising Fidel Castro when he passed. While it's no longer topical, I still think you'll find it an enjoyable read.
Will the Left Disavow Fidel Castro
Demanding disavowals is all the rage these days, at least on the Left. Indeed, Donald Trump got skewered for—pathetically--failing to disavow David Duke in one interview even though he had disavowed Duke before and many times since. Trump’s son even said David Duke “deserves a bullet.”
Trump’s also been asked to disavow the KKK and the so-called “Alt-Right” and many others associated with it such as Jared Taylor. Even still, many on the Left refer to him as “openly racist” and John Oliver thinks that the KKK’s endorsement is enough, by itself, to mean no one should have even considered voting for him.
Disavowals are sort of weird to begin with. If A endorses B, than B must unendorse A or something like that. Of course, this only seems to work in one direction. After all, John Bachtell, the Chairman of the Communist Party of the United States endorsed Hillary Clinton, and shockingly, no one ever asked her to disavow.
“Comrade Hillary, some pinko commie who runs an organization with 2000 people endorsed you. So, can you tell us; are you a crypto-Stalinst commie who wants to open up a bunch of Gulags in northern Alaska or are you not?”
Yes the Communist Party of the United States is so small as to be basically irrelevant. But then again, it’s about the same size as the Ku Klux Klan is today (which thankfully, is also all but dead), and the CPUSA may very well be larger given that I suspect something like half of the KKK’s members are FBI informants. And we already knew the FBI was in Trump’s corner.
On that note, it’s worth pointing out that the white nationalist conference everyone was up in arms about the other week only had about 250 attendants. For comparison, the last BronyCon convention, a convention for adult men who love the show My Little Pony, had 7609 attendees in 2016. Keep things in perspective folks.
But I digress. We now come to the recent passing of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Now, if A endorsing B means that B must disavow A. What should we demand when B endorses, or at least fawns over, A?
One would think liberals could criticize American foreign policy (I, for one, am certainly a critic) and a communist dictatorship at the same time. Apparently, such a duality of thought is problematic. A few quotes:
Jill Stein, Presidential Candidate for the Green Party: “Fidel Castro was a symbol of the struggle for justice in the shadow of empire. Presente!?”
You know Jill, the same disingenuous fluff could be said for Osama Bin Laden.
Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States: “Rosalynn and I share our sympathies with the Castro family and the Cuban people on the death of Fidel Castro. We remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country. We wish the Cuban citizens peace and prosperity in the years ahead.”
I remember fondly the camping trips I took with my family when I was a kid and the distinct lack of brutal dictators that accompanied them.
Jesse Jackson, Civil Rights Leader: “In many ways, after 1959, the oppressed the world over joined Castro's cause of fighting for freedom & liberation-he changed the world. RIP”
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada: “It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President. Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation. While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante.’”
Well, if “budgets will balance themselves,” I guess communism may actually make economic sense.
Trudeau quite hilariously got lampooned on Twitter for this nonsense under the hashtag “TrudeauEulogizes” with such gems as “While Emperor Nero was controversial, his dedication to song and writing poetry signaled a Roman artistic renaissance.”
Even Barack Obama gave a wishy-washy statement noting, “History will record and judge the enormous impact of this singular figure on the people and world around him.”
Others who have had rather fond things to say about Castro include Oliver Stone, Naomi Campbell, Steven Spielberg, Chris Matthews and many others.
While we certainly don’t need to celebrate someone’s death, even if that person was horrible. We also don’t need to “give a balanced account” when almost all that account holds are debits. I would be dishonest to say that Castro is akin to Hitler or Stalin. No, his death toll was probably only in the tens of thousands. As far as communist dictators go, he was one of the better ones. Which is akin to being one of the most beautiful blobfishes. If one were to compare Castro to rightwing dictators, the likes of Augusto Pinochet or Francisco Franco would come to mind. Strangely enough, I don’t remember many conservatives or libertarians mourning their passing.
Still, just because Castro was no Hitler doesn’t mean he wasn’t a reprehensible dictator. Most estimates on the numbers of deaths he was responsible for are at least in the tens of thousands. R.J. Rummel estimates it to be 73,000. Miguel Faria puts the number at between 30,000 to 40,000 and that doesn’t include the many thousands more who died trying to flee the repressive regime. For comparison, Augusto Pinochet—who the Left has a particular hatred for--is estimated to have killed is about 3200.
Castro also imprisoned political dissidents as well as homosexuals (so much for being progressive) and basically shut down any semblance of a free press. In 2016, Freedom House gave Cuba its lowest rating possible for political freedom and its second lowest ranking possible for civil liberties. Perhaps Jesse Jackson meant “freedom fighter” in the same way most of us use the phrase “fire fighter.”
But at least Castro gave Cuba universal healthcare!
(FYI, the economy of Cuba has been, not surprisingly, quite poor under Castro’s communist regime and contrary to Michael Moore, its healthcare system is nothing to write home about.)
Now I for one would like to see the political dialogue in this country lifted up a notch. But I haven’t seen anything even resembling an olive branch coming from the Left even when going against far more cordial politicians and pundits than Donald Trump. Instead, the Left’s opponents seem to get labeled as a racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist more often than not.
For those on the Right, calling everyone on the Left a commie seems to have gone out of style. Well, maybe it’s time to “Make Red-Baiting Great Again.” Is Justin Trudeau “openly communist?” Perhaps he’s just a communist sympathizer. I mean, after all, he did give a fawning eulogy to a communist dictator, did he not? Perhaps conservatives and libertarians should start demanding disavowals en masse. A lack of a disavowal equals the Trumpesque nickname “openly communist [name].” A wishy washy disavowal gets a “communist sympathizer [name].” Or for brevities sake, “Comrade [name].”
I’m not sure I actually want to see this come to pass as it would just degrade political debate in the United States all the more. But perhaps only then can we agree to a mutual ceasefire where we actually, you know, discuss ideas and policies rather than fall into the sewer of ad hominem’s and guilt by association.
So, Justin Trudeau, Jimmy Carter, Jesse Jackson, Jill Stein and Barack Obama… do you disavow?
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