In his 2020 memoir, “A Promised Land,” Barack Obama had the nerve to quote the great Soviet dissident writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
Said Obama about contemporary Russian politics, quoting Solzhenitsyn, “The lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”
Admittedly, Donald Trump could BS with the best of them, but unlike Obama and his Mini-Me in the White House, Trump based no policies on lies. Obama did. Joe Biden does.
The overarching lie is the one Adam embraced in Eden when he yielded to the serpent’s plea, “Ye shall be as gods.” The more proximate one is that the world’s most successful political experiment is racist to the core.
Indeed, the very idea that Obama would quote Solzhenitsyn on anything is an insult to the man’s memory. Obama, I suspect, hoped the reader had forgotten that he and his woke cronies had canceled Solzhenitsyn many moons ago.
Solzhenitsyn first ran afoul of the American left when he addressed the Harvard graduating class in 1978. At the time, the 16-year-old Obama was feasting on the unholy folk tales of his communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis.
In 1978, Solzhenitsyn was arguably the most sought after commencement speaker in America. The fact that Harvard recruited him was testament to that, and no one doubted that he deserved the offer.
“In terms of the effect he has had on history, Solzhenitsyn is the dominant writer of the 20th century,” wrote New Yorker editor David Remnick.
To be sure, no Harvard speaker before or since had seen more or suffered more than Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The son of a Russian artillery officer who died before his birth, Solzhenitsyn graduated from college just in time to sign up for the “Great Patriotic War.”
He would serve three punishing years as the commander of a reconnaissance battery in the Easter European bloodlands.
Just when victory was in sight, Solzhenitsyn, in a letter to a friend, made the mistake of referring to Stalin as “the man with the mustache.”
That little joke would earn him serious cancellation, namely a 12-year sojourn in the hellish outposts of what he would render infamous as the “gulag archipelago.”
While imprisoned, Solzhenitsyn conceived any number of short stories. In 1962, six years after his release, he put one of those stories to pen as the novella “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.”
Thanks to a very brief thaw in the long Soviet literary winter, the book found a publisher, and Solzhenitsyn found an international audience.
In 1970, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. In 1973, the thaw long since over, he smuggled a copy of his epic masterwork, “The Gulag Archipelago,” to publishers in the West.
In 1974, Soviet authorities decided they had enough and booted Solzhenitsyn from his beloved homeland. He eventually made his way with his family to an obscure hamlet in Vermont, and there he was living and writing as something of a recluse when Harvard invited him to speak.
To be sure, no speaker ever brought more gravitas to the podium, certainly not recent Harvard commencement speakers like Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, or the serial plagiarist Fareed Zakaria.
The fact that Solzhenitsyn criticized his adopted country could not have troubled those in attendance. By 1978, bashing America had become de rigeur at any university to the left of Bob Jones.
What surely rankled students and faculty both was that Solzhenitsyn aimed his guns at them, “the ruling and intellectual elites.”
If the graduates began the day thinking they were the solution to America’s problems, Solzhenitsyn quickly disabused them of that notion. As he saw it, they were the problem.
He chastised them for their lack of courage and self-restraint, their materialism and their self-indulgence. “Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space,” he lectured. “Society has turned out to have scarce defense against the abyss of human decadence.”
Knowing that many in audience, faculty and students alike, played at socialism, Solzhenitsyn coldly stripped them of their illusions.
“Socialism of any type and shade leads to a total destruction of the human spirit and to a leveling of mankind into death,” he told them.
He spoke of socialism as the inevitable path men take when they see themselves as “the master of the world,” free of personal evil and confident that “all the defects of life are caused by misguided social systems, which must therefore be corrected.”
All of this was disturbing enough, but Solzhenitsyn shocked his audience when he described how America’s ruling classes had gone wrong.
Thinking themselves “the center of all,” they had forgotten what the nation’s founding fathers well understood, namely that “man is God’s creature.”
For those graduates who had not heard the word “God” in the last four years save as the first half of a swear word, this news had to be as unsettling as it was unwelcome.
This esteemed Nobel Prize winner was holding their fabulous selves accountable for the “calamity of an autonomous, irreligious humanistic consciousness.”
Solzhenitsyn gave the lads no quarter. “The forces of Evil have begun their decisive offensive,” he railed. “You can feel their pressure, yet your screens and publications are full of prescribed smiles and raised glasses. What is the joy about?”
There is little joy and less surprise in watching Obama and Biden lie America’s way to socialism. As Solzhenitsyn understood, there was no other way to get there.
Jack Cashill’s latest book, “Barack Obama’s Promised Land: Deplorables Need Not Apply,” is now on sale. See www.cashill.com for more information.
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