Our Mounting Orwellian Nightmare
So we are to imagine that those who objected to Biden's having stolen the election are responsible for the violence at the Capitol? And that, going forward, any public official who questions Biden's win should be removed from office, and that any corporate leader who objects should be fired? All this when the truth is that Trump in all likelihood won the election.
It is the perfect example of Orwellian speech. In his classic essay "Politics and the English Language," Orwell spoke of the condition where "words and meaning have almost parted company." If that "almost" is a measure of Orwellian speech, then today's Democrat leaders are beyond Orwellian. Their words and meaning have parted company entirely.
As Orwell also stressed, the decline of language is both cause and effect of the decline of politics. When politicians and media begin speaking nonsense, it is the symptom of an underlying corruption of political thinking. The idea that the president should be removed from office for having defended the electoral process is truly bizarre, but it has been repeated throughout the liberal media and by most liberal politicians and even by some conservatives.
One might say progressives like Nancy Pelosi have become "unhinged," but that would let them off the hook. It would suggest that they don't quite realize what they are doing. But what they are doing is the result of crafty political calculation. They want to tie President Trump with the Capitol violence to the point that he can never run again. The same political deviousness lies behind suggestions that he should not be in control of the nation's nuclear arsenal because of his supposed mental instability.
None of these charges has anything to do with the truth. Those most responsible for the Capitol disturbance were those who rigged the presidential election, and certainly these individuals and those who coordinated their efforts or knew in advance or concealed information afterward should be punished. One might say those who committed acts of violence on the Hill should be punished to the same extent that Antifa and BLM rioters were punished last summer.
But the charges against President Trump are Orwellian in that they invert the truth. The president argued, as he had every right to do, that the election was rigged, and he urged peaceful protest to defend our republic.
Even the president's calming words on the afternoon of the Capitol break-in have been met with Orwellian reaction. When President Trump said, "Go home. Go in peace," the media charged him with inciting further violence because he expressed his "love" for his supporters. That expression of love did more than anything to get them to go home.
In a further Orwellian twist, Biden and his cronies appear to have adopted many of President Trump's ideas for running the country, but they can't admit where those ideas came from. Biden's not entirely sure we can afford to forgive all student debt, and he now believes that the existing border policies are necessary for the time being. Gov. Cuomo now says we must "open things up," just as President Trump and many conservative governors said we should. But he can't admit that the idea came from conservatives — it's his idea. None of these ideas was right when Trump was president — they're right only after Biden takes office.
The media will go along with this lie, in typical Orwellian fashion.
The most important line in Orwell's famous essay is this: "In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible." The progressive inversion of the truth is just that: an attempt to defend the indefensible.
If progressives were honest and straightforward, they would be forced to state that they are radical environmentalists and socialists who want government to control the economy and equalize wages; who want socialized medicine for all; who think religious expression should be outlawed; who believe in a universal guaranteed income; who want to outlaw the use of fossil fuels; who want to expand affirmative action putting blacks and Hispanics farther ahead of whites; who believe that any reference to biological sex should be outlawed; who believe that America should be not a global superpower, but merely one nation among others; who believe that abortion at any stage is a universal right; who believe that American aid should go to the Palestinians and not to Israel; and so on.
President Trump clearly stated his own beliefs on a thousand occasions — President Biden should do so as well, but he won't. He uses the Orwellian tactic of disguising his beliefs in gibberish, and this is not because he's going daft, as he well may be. He'll speak of "expanding Obamacare" rather than socialized medicine. He'll talk of "defense partnerships" rather than abandoning control of our military. And on the environment, it's not even possible to tell what he wants, but he wants $400 billion to do it. Once again, "the defence of the indefensible."
The coordinated effort to impeach and convict the president is nothing less than a propaganda campaign, and the associated suppression of free speech on social media and elsewhere is the beginning of a dangerous national decline. It's not possible to say where it will end, but we must be entirely clear about what is happening. A progressive government will attempt to further limit free speech, assembly, religious expression, gun rights, access to employment, and other basic liberties. Progressives have already threatened conservatives with prosecution and imprisonment for the "crime" of denying anthropogenic global warming and for questioning the result of the 2020 election. What's next? The persecution of every American conservative in the same way that Gen. Flynn was persecuted?
It's a fine line between federal prison here in America and Dachau in Germany, and one can transform into the other in a matter of weeks. It did so in Germany in 1933, just five weeks after Hitler became chancellor. Don't think it can't happen here. It begins with "the defence of the indefensible" — and that is already well underway.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).
Image via the U.S. Navy.