Stalin died 63 years ago today…

…unaware that in 2016, a certain American public intellectual of anti-Communist persuasion would pick him as US president over a New York billionaire!

The neoconservative historian Max Boot was born in Moscow in 1969. His last name, whatever its provenance, sounds about the same as the name of another celebrity who sought to profit from war: the Russian arms dealer Victor Bout (b. 1967). In the latest news, the historian has revealed this enlightened preference:

Max Boot, a foreign policy adviser to Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, said that if efforts to block Mr. Trump fell short, he would vote against a Republican nominee for the first time in his life.

“I would sooner vote for Josef Stalin than I would vote for Donald Trump,” said Mr. Boot, who expressed optimism that Mr. Trump could still be defeated.

Curiously, another Russian-born American, the left-leaning economist and columnist Alexei Bayer, wrote this about Max Boot in 2002:

The conservatism of the likes of Mr. Boot seems to be basically the same statist, illiberal, doctrine the older generations in Russia grew up with — Stalinism…

Indeed, seen from the Stalinist perspective, Mr. Boot’s ideological extremes are all too familiar.

Mr. Boot’s piece in the Los Angeles Times, for instance, titled “Protesters with Bloody Hands” (February 20, 2003), seems to have been lifted, title and all, from another 1950s classic — the Soviet Communist Party organ, Pravda.

The piece traces through the ages how antiwar protesters, most recently protesting the war in Iraq, are guilty of causing the deaths of American soldiers…

To equate the good of the government with the good of the nation is an old Stalinist trick — to accuse of treason those who don’t want to march in lockstep with the rest of the country.

Bayer’s own view of Trump isn’t that far removed from Boot’s – he believes Trump is a potential populist dictator in the vein of Putin and Chávez – but he does not prefer Putin to Trump in any way.

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