Students of history know that the original “cancel culture” was the Soviet Union in the 1930s, when Stalin and his apparatchiks sent millions to forced labor camps, often based on nothing more than suspicion of unfavored political views (and often not even that). This Great Purge (does “Great Reset” resonate deliberately or accidentally?) included the scrubbing from history of many prominent figures, including one of the leaders of the Bolshevik Revolution, Leon Trotsky.

Stalin’s minions were also the original Photoshoppers, long before digital photography even existed. The short fellow who was made to disappear from the headlined photo of Stalin et al was Nikolai Yezhov, nicknamed “The Vanishing Commissar” for his prominence among those whose images were “‘shopped” into oblivion. Trotsky and many others were not only removed from the history books, evidence of their very existence was attacked.

I’ve been puzzling over the Biden administration’s scorched-earth approach to the Trump legacy, wherein even good policy actions are being undone at breakneck speed and with reckless disregard for merits. Why undo everything? Biden won the election, the Untethered Orange Id is no longer in power, and the Democrats have majorities in both houses of Congress. Why not simply build on what’s there?

The answer lies in history, as it often does. Stalin was not content with simply vanquishing his enemies. He wanted them gone, erased, deleted, removed from history itself. Technology and the limits of government power prevent Biden from going full-Trotsky on Trump, but erasing all he did is far more doable. No matter that doing so will, in some cases, harm the nation.

Thus, the next initiative: tax increases. Driving it is not just the desire to spend more money (clearly, the Democrats have no reservations about printing or borrowing as much money as needed to fund their profligacy), but to undo one of the early successes of the Trump administration: the 2017 tax cuts.

Tax cuts which, by the way, didn’t reduce revenues – revenues increased every year. If the Democrats want more tax revenue, they should focus on growing the economy. As Hauser’s Law illustrates, revenues are remarkably stable as a percentage of GDP in the long run, no matter the particulars of tax rates or the tax code.

This isn’t a deep secret. It doesn’t sell politically, because many people want to ‘beat up’ on their political opponents, and taking money from others feels good to them. But, it’s as big a victory to undo a Trump success, and contribute to his being “Trotskied,” as it is to make a show of taking from others. Biden already undid as many of Trump’s executive orders as he could, in a first-week frenzy that spoke of a restless, rage-driven agitation to de-Orange the White House as quickly as possible.

Yes, indeed, we are being governed by people motivated by continued anger and petulance at the utter affront that the previous four years were to them. Every policy idea we witness seems born of “if Trump did it, it must be undone,” as if his term can be erased from the nation’s history.

That appears to be the goal. Defeating him was not enough, he must be purged. Along with his supporters, both fervent and tepid, who are being tarred as insurrectionists in a “guilt-by-association” with the Capitol rioters.

The question that presents itself is, “what happens next? What will they do if they succeed in erasing all things Trump from the books?” Are they sure they want to be in charge of a “purged” nation and all the submerged resentment that purge will have generated?

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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