Operation Cotton Mather

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The country is currently suffering through a series of moral panics—or, more precisely, the coastal elites are, while the rest of us go about the business of ordinary living.

There was the tearing down of the statues, an “antiracist” campaign to eradicate all traces of any historical figure who could be linked, even tenuously, to the institution of slavery: first Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, then Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, and George Washington.  Mobs of leftists, largely unopposed, rampaged through the streets, meting out “justice” to the shades of our ancestors, cheering as once-revered figures were pulled to the ground.  Police were ordered to stand down, in the beginning, surely nervous at having to look on at such disorder.  By the time our cultural revolutionaries got to New York City’s Columbus Square, however, where a statue of the great explorer—and pride of the city’s Italian population—has stood for decades, the cops were on 24-hour duty guarding it from the barbarian hordes.

In October, these neo-Maoist Red Guards of the Blue State Cultural Revolution turned on one of their own: Harvey Weinstein, the powerful Hollywood producer closely associated with the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party.  A comprehensive sexual history including at least five alleged rapes and countless outrages against common decency was exposed in the two lead publications of the East Coast elites: The New Yorker and the New York Times.  New victims spring forth daily from the mud-like Myrmidons born of dragon teeth.

Hanging over it all is the Russiagate hoax, which has the mainstream media reporting that Putin “hacked” the 2016 presidential election—despite the complete lack of any solid evidence to that effect.  This is where the Blue State militants, like Laura Rosenberger—former foreign-policy analyst with the Clinton campaign—and neoconservatives like Bill Kristol and Max Boot openly join hands.

The media have woven together the three prongs of the Cultural Revolution: “antiracism,” an angry if not radical feminism, and what we might call Operation Cotton Mather: the Russian “threat” investigation, which is the spine of this storyline, and whose goal is the ouster of President Trump.  The antiracist and feminist tropes are all associated with Trump anyhow, and when these libels are strategically placed around the Mueller investigation, the effect is very dramatic.

What is happening in this country today looks increasingly like one of those “color revolutions” that occurred during the Clinton era in Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.  That it is run by some of the same people, I have no doubt.  We hear much talk about the “Deep State”—a phrase that originated with critics of the national-security state, and specifically of the CIA, and is now routinely uttered by Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.  It’s a sign of the End Times, and perhaps the beginning of wisdom, when FOX News commentators begin to sound like Noam Chomsky.

In any case, these are the professional regime-changers whose handiwork—or should I say dirty work—constitutes the history of the past 50 years of U.S. foreign policy.  From Chile to Iran, in postwar Europe and in pre-war Iraq, these paladins of American power have rarely been idle.  Regime change, in their hands, has been elevated to a high art, and surely the accumulated experience of a half-century and more is being brought to bear upon their latest project.  Having practiced overseas, they are now pursuing their greatest achievement to date: the overthrow of a democratically elected President.

It wouldn’t end there.  Oh no: Trump’s fall would instead mark the beginning of a new era, the Year Zero of the elites’ triumphant restoration.  The future augurs more guillotines, more victims, and fresh moral panics to appease the national appetite for witch-hunting, as Operation Cotton Mather rolls on.  Designed to appeal to a godless, conscienceless, amoral people, who nevertheless must cloak their actions in the language of ethics, the overriding theme is fear.  Fear of “Nazis” under every bed.  Fear of rapists in every college dorm.  Fear of Russian spies who can determine the outcome of a presidential election simply by tweeting and running a few Facebook ads.

My biggest fear is that the foundations laid down in the Constitution and the traditions of the American political system will crack under the strain.  The regime-change crowd is deadly serious: They want their power back, and they’re willing to use any means necessary to get it.  On the other side of the equation we have an administration that is riven with contending factions, uncertain ideologically, and headed up by an impulsive and often foolish man who nevertheless possesses a certain genius for surprising—and defeating—his enemies.  How it will all turn out is anybody’s guess.       

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