Jack wrote this in September, 2005:
Uncle Joe Stalin used to chuckle about his people, about his staunch supporters. He laughed to Nikita Kruschev about how they’d cheer those Russians, or his henchmen, when he picked some new group of scapegoats to herd into the boxcars to haul off to the gulag camps.
Until the NKVD came knocking on their own doors, which, Stalin wryly observed, took a lot of the joy out of it. In his own way, Uncle Joe was an honest man with a surprising self-knowledge, for a psychopath.
Stalin thought it was humorous, the way he could get his people all worked up about how badly blacks were treated in America, how terrible things were in Germany to take their minds off how things were at home when crops failed, when production quotas dropped.
Joe Stalin died a few years after WWII, but the world learned a lot from him. Leaders all over the world learned how easy it is to divert the attention of the masses away from whatever’s wrong close in around them, to cast blame and create scapegoats inside the country and focus the anger of the people on them. To trumpet minor victories as though they were giants. To blame every failure on traitors and conspirators. To have mindless puppets shouting his brainwash over the radio waves constantly, daily.
Joseph Goebbels learned a lot from Joe Stalin. He’s still using what he learned.
In his own unique, selective way, the US president does learn from history, as most of them have since their hero died.