Reagan's Portrayal and Anti-Communist Themes Cause Leftists to Lose It Over New Call of Duty

Ronald Reagan in a screenshot from the Call of Duty trailer.

Ronald Reagan COD

For any Call of Duty fans out there, developer Treyarch is back with the next installment in its “Black Ops” series and this one has the left absolutely fuming due to its positive portrayal of none other than President Ronald Reagan and the anti-communist sentiment laced throughout the game.


The new game Black Ops Cold War takes place during Reagan’s presidency during the height of the cold war with communist Russia. The initial trailer features KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov speaking about the communist’s plan to bring down America from within. If you pay attention, you may recognize some of the moves being used by the left today.

The trailer urges you to “know your history or be doomed to repeat it” as it flashes images from the cold war across the screen.

“The danger is real,” says Bezmenov at the end.

In the released trailer, Reagan is recreated with care and accuracy, right down to his voice over and he conducts himself as a strong leader willing to do whatever it takes to make sure America stays safe.

The trailer features regular characters from the Black Ops series discussing a threat from a terrorist called “Perseus” that could do massive damage to the entire free world when Reagan enters. The group informs the president that the threat is credible and argue over the legality of the mission they wish to go on, but Reagan stops the argument by reasoning that they are “protecting our way of life from a great evil.”

This hasn’t sat well with leftists. The hard-left gaming site “Kotaku” released a headlined that immediately makes one who reads it lose their eyes from rolling straight out of their head.


“Call Of Duty Trailer Recklessly Promotes Far-Right Conspiracy Theory,” writes Ian Walker who delves into why you this game is only going to promote dangerous ideals like neo-nazism and give people the impression that “far-right” conspiracy theories like “cultural marxism” exist:

The person interviewing Bezmenov in the footage is far-right conspiracy theorist G. Edward Griffin, who has since made a name for himself in HIV/AIDS denialism and alt-right recruitment. As a member of the John Birch Society, a famously anti-Communist organization focused on establishing a more conservative government in the United States, it makes sense that Griffin would peddle Bezmenov’s claims about Soviet interference by way of social progress without any critical analysis. In the Call of Duty trailer, Activision presents Bezmenov’s words bereft of this important context.

As the name suggests, Black Ops Cold War deals with the decades-long struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union, which engaged in various forms of political and proxy warfare as the globe’s prevailing superpowers after World War II. While Bezmenov’s warnings seem like obvious fodder for amping up that conflict in the game, his appearance in the game’s advertisement has functioned as a sort of dog whistle to legions of reactionaries who consider attempts at establishing social equity to be proof of a far-right conspiracy theory known as “Cultural Marxism.”


Walker goes on to explain that “cultural marxism” is a conspiracy theory born from the Nazis in Germany and notes that the concept has been used “ever since to embolden a growing white nationalist movement in blaming society’s ills on the fictitious boogeymen of marginalized populations, rather than the people in power who actually exploit the world and its most vulnerable inhabitants.”

Walker goes on to blame the survival of this concept on GamerGate, a consumer movement that the left lost one of the largest cultural battles to and has never been forgiven since. The left often uses GamerGate as its own boogie man to push the idea that they were only in opposition to the hard-left culture critics because they were white supremacists and far-right reactionaries.

We weren’t. We still aren’t.

Walker spends a lot of time creating his own anti-communist boogiemen out of those who promoted the trailer, including Carl Benjamin (aka Sargon of Akkad) who gave an excellent breakdown of the tactics Russia uses to subvert cultures as Bezmenov discussed in the trailer.

I’ll spare you the rest of Walker’s article, but suffice to say that he’s not pleased with the anti-communist themes laced throughout the video and he’s definitely not happy with how those to the right of Marx are also pleased with this.


The other trailer that was released on the new game, however, commits possibly and even graver sin.

It portrayed the man who defeated communism in Russia as a strong leader.

It’s not often Republican presidents are cast in a positive light in mainstream media but Treyarch seems to have bucked the trend and chose to portray Ronald Reagan as the cold war hero that he was.

Reagan is portrayed with respect in the trailer, not to mention a good bit of accuracy. Both his look and even manner of speech is faithfully recreated and it looks very impressive to say the least.

During the trailer, Reagan silences talk about the illegality of a mission to stop a global terrorist and save the United States, giving his approval to the mission and ordering that those carrying it out be given whatever they need to accomplish it.

Of course, Reagan being faithfully portrayed and in a positive light no less, can’t go without snide commentary. Nick Stat at The Verge wrote the headline “Ronald Reagan sends you to do war crimes in the latest Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War trailer.”


“It’s a good thing Reagan is here to reassure us, the players, that what we’re doing is in fact Good, or else Call of Duty fans everywhere might get the wrong impression about America’s role in geopolitical conflicts around the globe. Can’t have that happening!” wrote Stat sarcastically.


“Here’s more of Call of Duty’s CG Ronald Reagan to haunt your nightmares,” wrote Russ Frushtick at the hard-left gaming news site Polygon.

Gamasutra writer Bryant Francis also chimed in to tell why Reagan’s appearance was problematic. Francis wrote that Reagan’s principles and values were some of the earliest political concepts he was introduced to and learned to dislike over the course of his life, including Reagan’s views of the welfare state.

“It isn’t so much that I’m saying Ronald Reagan shouldn’t be portrayed in the Call of Duty series, it’s that his inclusion, especially as a mission briefer, creates a set of values that are informed by his legacy,” wrote Francis. “The violence of Call of Duty, which has always struggled to contextualize less “moral,” post World War II conflicts, now is ordained by conservatism’s patron saint. ”

Each of these writers and more are merely angry that the anti-conservative, pro-leftist treatment that is usually served up in mainstream mediums isn’t happening here. There can be no room for this in their eyes because if the story manages to humanize, or even highlight the benefits of right-leaning thinking and principles, it would create something that the hard-left fears more than anything else…


…free thought.

The left isn’t a big fan of that. They want you to think freely within approved bounds and everything outside of it is “problematic” and potentially a gateway drug to neo-nazism and white supremacy. To them, the sky is always falling and the only thing holding it up is you not watching Sargon of Akkad, Steven Crowder, or Ben Shapiro. It’s certainly going to fall if you start believing Reagan was a good man and a good leader.

Personally, I look forward to this game and my hope is that the success of it will spur more ideological diversity in, not just video games, but every mainstream media. God knows we need more of it.

This leftist bent has gone stale.


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