by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Picture living in the Soviet Union circa 1980. You wake up and turn on state-run radio. The great war in Afghanistan is going exceptionally well. You know that story is a lie, as your neighbors just buried their son, and your cousin tells of the horrors of fighting the Mujahideen in the frozen mountains. The next story speaks of the great economic success of the most recent Five Year Plan. You know that it’s also a lie, as there has been no meat in the local stores for weeks, and the lines outside of bakeries are only getting longer. Giving up on the radio, you grab a fresh edition of Pravda. The United States is denounced as a dangerous, nationalistic threat to world peace. Additionally, East German “women” are lauded for winning 38 gold medals at a recent international track competition. In an unrelated story, there is a world shortage of synthetic testosterone.
Now, let’s move to the present-day US. You get up and turn on any of the morning programs with the presenters who do not know how to stop smiling. They tell us that the war in Ukraine is so successful that the US and its allies will be sending a few billion dollars more in weaponry shortly. Next, you learn that inflation is actually good for you, as it is proof of a successful economy. You see that many items that you used to buy are too expensive, but hey, but now you know it’s a good thing. And forget about baby formula. Having had enough of the TV personalities, you open your New York Times to learn that Republican MAGA extremists are actually a dangerous nationalist threat to world peace.