The Citizen picked up his battered copy of 1984 recently. No matter how many times you read some books, they always seem to beckon you to delve into their pages on occasion. Little did I know how germane this Orwell’s vision has become in the recent months. The prophetic vision of Orwell struck me when I was watching the White House press secretary engage in classic doublespeak.
For those who are not familiar with the book, the protagonist has one of the most vile jobs in Oceania – he expunges history. Stories that contradict the needs of the Party are ferreted out and specialists rewrite the historical narrative to suit the changing needs of government. At no time can the Party be seen to be in error. Once a story is revised, all existing copies of the now incriminating ‘unauthorized’ history is destroyed and the appropriate ministries recreate everything. Newspapers, magazines, books, texts – even movies and video archives – are recreated to support the new version of the tapestry of history. Winston – the protagonist – is skilled at his work. Unfortunately, Mr. Gibbs is not as adept.
The incident in question was his attempt to re-cast Joe Biden’s comments about the Swine flu and travel. The Vice-President clearly and emphatically stated he would not want his loved ones on planes, trains, or subway stations. Within a few hours, Mr. Gibbs inelegantly tried his hand at revising history by asserting that Mr. Biden said that he wouldn’t travel if he was sick. Please.
This is the most overt attempt at camouflaging the truth as it is for the truth that the Administration and the Congressional leadership want. Nancy Pelosi calling her private audience with the Holy Father a wonderful and constructive chat. Really? Gibbs desperately trying to cover up flaps, misstatements, and inconsistencies. A ‘transparent’ government that shares nothing of value. A president who almost never leaves his prepared, tele-prompted scripts. A tax break for 95% of the population…that will be taken back in taxes next year. Health care for all, sponsored by the state – if you want to participate. Of course, if you don’t, the IRS will tax you on your health care benefits.
It’s important to remember that the most oppressive governments did not rise from conservative parties. After all, the basic foundation of conservative politics is predicated on limited government. Limited government does not a totalitarian state make. No, totalitarian governments are born on the wings of liberalism. The ‘SuperState’ is the liberal dream.
Historically, most totalitarian governments seek to assert their control by destroying established religion and replacing it with a state-sponsored or sanctioned cult. For the first time in 20 years, the White House declined to attend – either through the personal appearance of the President or a designee – the National Day of Prayer. Using Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, campaign operatives and massive infusions of cash created an open rift in the Catholic community in America. Just take a look at Catholics for Obama, the Catholic Alliance, and other groups that support a pro-abortion candidate and President. Requiring Georgetown to cover up Catholic symbols. The controversy created by the Notre Dame appearance. All of these are attacks on a religion that is still the largest single Christian denomination in America (about 24% of Christians are Catholic).
Welcome to 1984 – a little late, but Orwell’s cautionary tale may just carry weight. Granted, Orwell never factored in talk radio and the internet. They may be our only defense against this new Ministry of Truth (doublespeak for Lies, for those who aren’t ‘in the know.)
Keep reading, keep looking for truth, never lose faith. Orwell’s government needs the apathetic complicity of the masses to succeed.