1 March 2020
THE RED SCARE IS BACK
Hamsters prescribe a large dose of ridicule
They're at it again. The intelligence agencies and their mouthpieces in the media are binging on the old red-baiting game again. In fact, they're back and bigger than ever - at least with more noise than we've heard since the McCarthy era of the early 1950s. This time they have gone after three candidates (so far) in the fall election. Tulsi Gabbard was "a Russian asset" being groomed by Russia as a third-party choice, failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claimed. Several weeks passed. And then, quoting their handlers at the CIA, the news media renewed their claim that the Russians are seeking to influence the outcome of the November vote. First they said it was to favor Donald Trump, but when that proved too stale to be news, the attention switched almost immediately to Bernie Sanders, who was accused of getting "help" from the Kremlin in his bid for the presidency.
Many people are tempted to laugh at this kind of fake hysteria, but in reality it's pretty serious stuff. Arms treaties have been abandoned, nuclear weapons are in mass production, and we're closer to the brink of war than we've ever been, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Their "Doomsday Clock," which originated in 1947 and was set at a then-alarming seven minutes to midnight, is now closer than it's ever been to the "end." On the 23rd of January, the Scientists set the clock to a terrifying 100 seconds before midnight.
But in spite of the danger posed by a re-escalation of the old cold war, the use of red scare politics at election time is probably best handled with humor. So say the campaign team at U.S. Hamster For President headquarters.
It is, after all, a bit ridiculous to argue that there's a sinister Russian conspiracy to elect both Sanders and Trump, while courting a third candidate, Gabbard, to run against both. As a presenter on one YouTube news outlet quipped, it won't be long before the Russians are backing everybody.
Because of the utter ludicrousness of the conspiracy theory, the hamsters have urged the public, especially fellow rodents, to make themselves over as images of Russian puppets. Think of it as being kind of like Halloween, but lasting at least until the 3rd of November (and without the treats).
There are numerous ways to poke fun of the pundits and intelligence chiefs who are spreading the new McCarthyism, says Mason, a senior adviser to the Diddley Squat election team. "Red food dye is harmless and can be used to good effect by hamsters of pale fur color - especially the white, cream, or beige, but also banded hamsters who have a reasonably large white stripe around their middle." Simply have a human swab it on with a bit of cotton.
The red coloring, of course, associates them more closely with the "red menace" that looms over politics this year. And as such, it has a way of integrating them into the political dialogue.
We know of nobody who has specifically labeled Diddley a "commie infiltrator" or anything of the sort, but since it seems to be a rite of initiation this season, he welcomes the accusation whenever and from whomever it may come.
Hamsters should also eat as much red stuff as they can get hold of, Mason added. "Try to get your servants to buy you fresh tomatoes, watermelon or, best of all, peeled and uncooked beet root," he urged other hamsters. A bit of red food dye in your water won't hurt either. That way, when the accusations begin to fly, they can point to the "blatantly Russian-leaning food and drink" preferred by our species.
"Attaching a 'Kremlin protection' label to a cage is also a fun idea," Mason said, adding that one has to have a flat sided glass or heavy plastic cage. The labels can be printed with a color printer and just taped on - outside, please.
Humans can join in the merriment by wearing red clothing as much as possible. If you plan on buying a new or used car, make red a priority. If offered in your state, the vanity tag REDSCARE might still be available. That option is unlikely, though, given the popularity of "red scare" merchandise. And those items, tee-shirts, mugs, tote bags, caps, etc. should be on every hamster-loving human's shopping list. There's already a Red Scare Podcast, so it's too late to claim that.
But as the cold war mania grows between now and election day, expect strange and terrible things on your television set. Already one talk show host, Chris Matthews of MSNBC, worried aloud (and on air!) that he would be put in front of a firing squad in Red Square - or something like that - if one of these Russian favored candidates should become president. (The remark reportedly was made in reference to Sanders, but we don't watch cable news so we're going by several consistent second-hand reports.)
In any case, the election season is set to be a bizarre one. But all those belligerent cold warriors on cable, while risking serious policy consequences, also offer a silly and totally-irrelevant distraction from real issues. The more the nonsense gets mimicked and ridiculed, the less impact it will have.
Diddley Squat has abandoned the idea of faking a satirical endorsement letter from Vladimir Putin. But he's still waiting his turn to be smeared with the "red" label, which he claims is his due as a candidate.
Monaham is a candidate for Vice President in 2020. His Twitter account is @HAMSTER4PREZ.