Today was the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, the bloody Soviet communist coup led by Vladimir Lenin that resulted in the overthrow of Tsarist Russia and a civil war that killed millions and tore the country apart, leaving wounds that many believe have yet to heal.
Since then, the worldwide death toll under Lenin’s utopian dream of a worker’s paradise, according to this 2013 graphic from Information is Beautiful, clocks in at around 94 million over the span of the 20th Century.
To commemorate and honor those lives lost, the White House today declared Nov. 7, 2017 a “National Day for the Victims of Communism” in an attempt to “remember those who have died and all who continue to suffer under communism.”
There are other efforts to educate on the Hill as well. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL), Senior Deputy Majority Whip, Reps. Kaptur (D-OH), Lipinski (D-IL), and Chris Smith (R-NJ), introduced The Victims of Communism Caucus, “a bipartisan group of Members of Congress dedicated to raising awareness of how communism victimized and enslaved more than 100 million people in the past and how its tyranny in the five existing communist countries (China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam) and its legacy in the post-Soviet sphere shapes international relations today,” according to their press release.
The group will spend their time over the next Congressional session working on issues such as “Russian expansionism in Ukraine; the role of the United States in ameliorating the deteriorating political and economic situation in Venezuela; the continuing human rights abuses of the Castro regime in Cuba; and the increasing threat that the dangerous North Korean rhetoric surrounding the country’s nuclear program poses to the free world.”
All good things, right? Not according to one grouchy reporter over at Buzzfeed which is where, much like the once-vaunted John Stewart’s The Daily Show, the millennial generation prefers to get its (fake) news.
Buzzfeed reporter Blake Montgomery tweeted out the following in response to the White House proclamation (and quickly deleted it, but savvy Twitter users know what must be screen captured when they see it):
— Gabriella Hoffman (@Gabby_Hoffman) November 7, 2017
Now, not to pile on to Mr. Montgomery — who, to his credit, was apologetic after the anti-communist social media police humbled him viciously by pointing out that his tweet resembled the ravings of not-very-bright child — but I’d like to use his tweet and risk embarrassing him for just a few seconds longer because the kids that read his rag actually fall for this nonsense and his embarrassment is worth the instruction.
This affection and historical scrubbing of the nature of communism has gotten bad. The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal has a podcast on the subject in which they discuss the astounding fact that half of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist or communist country.
Their polling of that generation also led to this little gem:
1 in 5 millennials think Joseph Stalin was a "hero." pic.twitter.com/lZ5y8Dndcm
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) November 7, 2017
The death toll under Stalin was, according to his own, likely redacted official records, around 3 million. That includes the execution of approximately 800,000 prisoners for political or criminal offenses, just under 2 million in the Gulags and close to 400,000 under their policy of forced resettlement. The actual death toll has been estimated as closer to 20 million.
Since Mr. Montgomery expressed his apologies and, one can hope, learned his lesson, perhaps he can use his gigantic social media platform to educate the misinformed in his generation about just why Soviet chic is neither cool nor classy. Additionally, perhaps he can rethink his knee-jerk reaction to anything coming from an administration he, I assume, dislikes as being somehow related to what he, I assume, believes they represent (white nationalism). If and until then, however, he should take the advice he was offered on twitter in response to his now-deleted tweet by the human rights advocacy group Victims of Communism:
— Victims of Communism (@VoCommunism) November 7, 2017