Source: Christopher Knight
The collapse of the figurative and literal wall between East and West Germany was chief among the upheavals in those final weeks of 1989. Not even a year out of office and Reagan was magnificently proven correct in his understanding of basic humanity: people want to be free. Apart from one major exception, the oppressed behind the Iron Curtain that autumn overcame their regimes without bloodshed and violence.
I was in high school during the fall of communism across Eastern Europe. I could not then imagine that precisely thirty years later a caricature of upheaval would be transpiring in my own country.
“Resist!” is screamed by media personalities and celebrities and politicians who in a sane world would never win a race for city lieutenant sanitation commissioner. They betray ignorance of what real dictatorship is, as they dare ascribe the gravitas of 1989’s righteous rebellions upon their own crusade.
When I consider Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, and Jerry Nadler maneuvering for impeachment of President Donald Trump, it is with some dark bewilderment. They have no idea what disaster they are courting for themselves and their allies. It will not end well for them.
It is a disaster already. Television ratings for the House’s impeachment inquiry have cratered. I have heard absolutely nobody in the real world gushing breathlessly over Trump’s pending downfall. The pundits are lamenting that the American people are not taking this revolution seriously.
Those same pundits neglect to accept that the revolution already happened. It came in 2016, when the long-ignored hinterlands turned against their “betters” in Washington.
So, let’s clarify something: the present effort to impeach Donald Trump is not a revolution. It is a counter-revolution.
Since the summer of 2015 the hardliners of the Deep State have gazed at Trump with derision, then desperation, and now total destruction in mind. To them the American people simply aren’t meant for a loosening of control and regaining oversight of their own government. Trump’s message resonated with those same American people as had nothing in recent memory. Democracy came to Eastern Europe by ballots and not bullets. So too did American citizenry in flyover country begin to revolt against their elitist masters.
It wasn’t part of “the plan” and perhaps for the first time ever, the Deep State shuddered in fear. The revolution was not only televised, it was splayed across Facebook and Twitter. But if not Trump himself, someone else would have inevitably threatened the entrenched political and media complex. The peril would come. It was only a matter of when.
The Deep State will not tolerate rebellion. And now an example must be made to force the unwashed masses back into submission.
Trump’s domestic and foreign efforts share some kinship with glasnost and perestroika. Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies encouraged greater transparency of the Soviet government and loosening of control over the Russian people. But Gorbachev’s reforms were too great for Soviet upper crust to accept. Their frustrations with Gorbachev came to a head in August of 1991, when the USSR’s own hardliners staged their coup and tried to depose the Russian president.
The coup failed, and Gorbachev was restored to office. His policies against entrenched Soviet politics had succeeded beyond any expectation. So too are many of Trump’s own policies, particularly economic, already bearing great fruit. “Make America Great Again” may sound ruffian compared to the beautiful enunciation of perestroika, but it has shaken the power structure of our own establishment all the same.
The likelihood of success for the coup in our midst is comparatively less. Doubtful the methodology will mirror that of the Soviet hardliners. However, the motive remains the same: hold on to power over the people.
Happily, counterrevolutions rarely succeed without overwhelming firepower. And so far as counterrevolutions go, this one is pretty lousy. It’s also the acme of fantasy to expect the same people you have condemned as “deplorable” to rally to your cause.
And even should Trump be impeached and removed: what then? The “Color Revolutions” of the autumn of 1989 were, well… colorful. The playwright Vaclav Havel. Boris Yeltsin, eyes gleaming with brewing mischief. And that feisty electrician of the Gdansk shipyard, Lech Walesa. All three and many other reputable characters across Eastern Europe would soon ascend to lead their respective nations in transitions to democratic government.
Who among the faces of this “glorious revolution” will win the White House in 2020? It may be the most lackluster field of candidates in modern history. Which alone indicates to me that Trump would be too smart than to level unethical sabotage against any political opponent: Joseph Biden will never be as formidable as even George McGovern. And Adam Schiff as the one who will go down in legend as the man who toppled the President? Oh please….
The German band Scorpions released “Wind of Change” in the weeks following the fall of the Berlin Wall. It immediately became the anthem of that sudden zeitgeist. The gales of autumn 1989 were a hurricane of triumph. Fully three decades later and a weak zephyr blows across the Beltway. 1989’s was the aroma of freedom. 2019’s “revolution” reeks of crude behavior after a dinner of bad beans.
We watched with rapt attention as one communist regime fell after another. But in 2019 the attempt to impeach and remove Donald Trump from the Oval Office is not captivating by any measure. Bill Clinton was impeached over a stained blue dress. Today the House leadership is trying to remove Donald Trump over the matter of a phone call. A phone call, incidentally, that in the normal everyday routine of business might be referred to human resources before crumpling the complaint into the circular file.
The American people are daring to openly acknowledge what is already known: that the House leadership and its allies have made the re-acquisition of political power its only priority. It is hellbent on crushing the true revolution against encroaching government. Hence, counterrevolution. This one is already a certain failure. But counterrevolutions also often demand a heavy price.
As noted, there was one significant deviation from the pattern of the pro-democracy movements in the autumn of ’89. For a quarter century communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu wielded absolute power over the Romanian people. As one Soviet satellite after another fell, he staged a bloody countercoup against Romania’s own invigorated malcontents. It didn’t work.
Out of desperation Ceausescu promised higher salaries and student aid. But Ceausescu had woefully mis-gauged the frustrations of the people amassed before him in Bucharest. The moment his decades of control evaporated was chronicled on worldwide television. Nicolai and Elena Ceausescu promptly fled the palace by helicopter and were soon captured.
December 25, 1989 was not a Merry Christmas for the Ceausescus. Found guilty by a drumhead trial of crimes against the Romanian people, Nicolai and Elena were immediately thrown against the wall – literally – and shot dead. Images of their shattered bodies were broadcast around the globe.
So far as analogies go, the comforts and careers of the petty tyrants in Washington may soon be just as crumbled. Our own would-be overlords would do well to be mindful of that.