“I don’t know what happened to our culture…I don’t know when we began to celebrate bullies instead of looking out for people who care for other people. When did that happen?” — Former Pres. Barack Obama.
In my weekly national affairs columns over the last 25 years, I have written frequently about this same issue. I often identified it as the national transition from a culture defined by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech in August 1963 to that defined by the famous “Greed is Good” speech by the Gordon Gecco character in the 1987 movie, “Wall Street.”
In the King’s speech, he asserts that “my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
By 1987, the mantra had become the opposite. “Content of character” was by then, under the impact of “postmodern” influences, popularly derided and ridiculed as the basis for individual behavior.
President Obama asks, How did that happen? It was the result of a massive assault on our culture that emanated from the enemies of democracy dating back to the early 1970s, a breathtakingly unholy alliance between certain monied interests in the U.S. and West and passionately pro-dictatorial, anti-democratic oligarchies and their thug mafias in the East, specifically including Russia.
Today’s right wing cults in the U.S., including QAnon, the Proud Boys and others, including now the Republican Party writ large, and all others involved in the January 6 sacking of the Capitol and ongoing coup efforts, owe their roots to that period. Specifically, it was when, under the aegis of a new “detente” between Nixon and Soviet Dictator Leonid Brezhnev in the early 1970s, when the U.S. accepted thousands of Russian emigres onto its soil who mostly came to Brighton Beach and were notorious criminals and Russian Mafia thugs.
Important documentation of this period is found in Robert I. Friedman’s “Red Mafiya, How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America” (2000) and more recently in Craig Unger’s “House of Trump, House of Putin, The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia” (2018). The late Friedman, the friend of a friend of mine, was told by the FBI that as a result of his book, Russian mafia thugs had put a contract on his life. Two years later he was dead at age 51. Friedman’s book is the first one cited in Unger’s.
Working in from the margins of American culture, they flooded the so-called “counterculture” with “sex, drugs and rock and roll” to undermine the serious anti-war, pro-civil rights, including feminist and gay, movements of the 1960s. They trashed the marginal left with violent attacks known as “Mop Up,” humiliated the Democratic presidential efforts in 1972 and 1976, mobilized countless authoritarian cults as rightwing shock troops in that era (including the mass termination of one of their bigger ones that didn’t fit their new paradigm, the Jonestown cult), activated the fundamentalist “religious right” in a big way for the first time, and led America to elect a movie actor for two terms as president with deep rightwing sympathies.
From this evolved the “Greed is Good” mantra by 1987, and dominant American culture continued to be degraded through divide-and-conquer postmodern cultural revamps until the time was ripe for the deployment of Trump, the January 6 riot and the now serious, ongoing push for an anti-democratic coup.
Trump, who was likely a Russian KGB agent of influence since the early 1970s, was first floated as a future U.S. presidential candidate in the summer of 1987 immediately following a trip to Moscow. Not surprisingly, the signal came in a Lyndon LaRouche publication, the Executive Intelligence Review, which wrote of how “the Soviets are reportedly looking a lot more kindly on a possible presidential bid by Donald Trump.”
Six weeks later, Trump took out full page ads in the Boston Globe, Washington Post and New York Times attacking the U.S. for “lacking backbone” in defending Japan.
It wasn’t 2011, it was in 1987 that Moscow began grooming Trump to run for president.
(To be continued).
Nicholas Benton may be emailed at [email protected]