10:44 GMT13 June 2021
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    Right-wing media personality and former Donald Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka gave conservatives a litany of things to fear from Democrats during his Thursday speech at their annual political action conference, but none turned more heads that when he suggested Democrats aimed to fulfill Joseph Stalin’s dream of stealing their hamburgers.

    Yes, that Joseph Stalin. Yes, those Democrats. Yes, he did say hamburgers.

    "You know what the biggest threat to America is? Not socialism in Moscow — socialism here, in America," Gorka raged Thursday at the CPAC conference in Maryland, citing a poll that showed over half of Americans "want to live in a socialist America."

    "That is why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez," Gorka said, pausing and gesturing for the crowd to boo, "has introduced a Green New Deal which is a watermelon: green on the outside, deep, deep red communist on the inside."

    "They want to take your pickup truck; they want to rebuild your home; they want to take away your hamburgers — this is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved," Gorka said, as the crowd went quiet and a couple of laughs were heard. "You are on the front lines of the war against communism coming back to America under the guise of ‘democratic socialism,' which is just a PC term for communism. I want everyone to take to heart: Donald J. Trump is never going to let it happen, and as he said to Congress, ‘America will never be a socialist country.'"

    To review, Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union from roughly 1924 or so until his death in 1953 and oversaw the country's transformation from a rural, backwards, semi-feudal society to an industrialized, urbanized socialist state. Along that way, that meant seizing a lot of people's wealth and land and redistributing it to the poor peasants and workers, and so his era is just as much associated with famines and shortages as it is with hydroelectric dams and machine tractor stations.

    However, what's really interesting is that Stalin was actually fascinated by hamburgers. When his foreign trade minister, Anastas Mikoyan, went to the US in the 1930s, he visited department stores and shops and brought back examples of American culture and industry to the USSR for them to study and learn from. That included machines for making ice cream, mayonnaise, and — you guessed it — hamburger patties.

    Communist supporter carries the red flag as others carry a banner declaring Long Live the 88th Anniversary of the October Revolution, during the rally to commemorate the Bolshevik Revolution, marking a long-sacred former holiday that was an official working day for the first time in decades in Moscow, Monday, Nov. 7, 2005.
    © AP Photo / Ivan Sekretarev

    In fact, a type of ground beef patty that became popular in the Soviet Union was dubbed a "Mikoyan cutlet" after him, according to the New York Times.

    But Twitter doesn't care about scholarship like this; it cares about memes and dragging people who say silly things, and that's what happened to Gorka.

    Many users were quick to note that the McDonald's hamburger chain's patty purloining persona, the Hamburglar, could have secretly been the Soviet dictator all along.

    ​It's hard to tell with that mask on his face!

    ​An interesting historical suggestion: perhaps Stalin's murderous purges were actually just because he was hangry?

    ​Could Stalin be in charge of the conservation group The Sierra Club, too? Perhaps with that beard, John Muir could be mistaken for an old Bolshevik.

    ​However, one user remembered where they'd seen a whole bunch of burgers together recently:

    ​Of course, who knows where the communists will stop! It may not be with the hamburgers.

    Interestingly enough, there was a real, actual project proposed by Stalin called the "Great Plan for the Transformation of Nature" in the years after World War II that sought to turn the steppes of Central Asia and southern Siberia into something resembling the US' Great Plains, with similarly farmable results. That grand plan included reversing the course of several Siberian rivers so that they flowed south instead of north, New Scientist noted.

    Nothing about stealing hamburgers, though.


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    Green New Deal, Twitter reaction, Democratic Socialism, socialism, communism, hamburgers, CPAC, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sebastian Gorka, Joseph Stalin, US, Soviet Union
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