Twenty Fourteen: Newspeak Still Promotes Doublethink

Newspeak 2014

Jeff - icon sizeIntro by Jeff Rutherford

With some added graphic embellishments, here’s a great Feb 13th National Review Online article by Victor Davis Hanson.

Obama’s Newspeak

by Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis HansonThe nightmare societies portrayed in the George Orwell novels “1984” and “Animal Farm” gave us the word “Orwellian.”

That adjective reflects a vast government’s efforts not just to deceive and control the people, but also to do so by reinventing the meaning of ordinary words while rewriting the past itself.

America, of all places, is becoming Orwellian.

The president repeatedly reminds the American people that under his leadership the U.S. has produced a record level of new oil and natural gas. But didn’t Obama radically curtail leases for just such new energy production on federal lands?

Have the edicts on the barn wall of “Animal Farm” been changed again, with the production of new oil and gas going from bad to suddenly good?

Does anyone remember that the Affordable Care Act was sold on the premise it would guarantee retention of existing health plans and doctors, create 4 million new jobs and save families $2,500 a year in premiums, all the while extending expanded coverage to more people at a lower cost?

Only in Orwell’s world of doublespeak could raising taxes, while the cost of health plans soars, be called “affordable.” Is losing your existing plan and doctor a way of retaining them?

The CBO recently warned that ObamaCare would “keep hours worked and potential output during the next 10 years lower than they would be otherwise.” That nonpartisan verdict should be bad news for workers.

Nineteen Eighty-fourNot in our brave new world. The Obama administration says it is pleased that workers will now be freed from “job lock.” What is job lock — a made-up Newspeak word right out of “1984”? Work fewer hours, make less money and create fewer outputs — and be happy.

About every January since 2009, the president has promised to close Guantanamo Bay. Is the detention facility now sort of virtually closed — in the manner that Syrian President Bashar Assad and his chemical weapons are now virtually gone, as Obama decreed years ago, and in the manner that we are still hunting down the murderers in Benghazi who were supposedly outraged over a video?

In 2004, many in the media reported that George W. Bush, the Emmanuel Goldstein of our era, had overseen a “jobless recovery.” Unemployment at election time in 2004 was 5.4%. Yet since January 2009, only two months have seen joblessness below 7%.

A record 90 million able-bodied Americans are not participating in the workforce. Yet the president, in Orwellian doublespeak fashion, recently claimed that the job picture is good. If 5.4% unemployment was once called a jobless recovery, are we now in a jobless recovery from a jobless recovery? 

Doublethink 2014

In 2013, the IRS confessed it had targeted particular political groups based on their names or political themes — a Big Brother intrusion into private lives that was revealed at about the same time the Associated Press and National Security Agency eavesdropping scandals came to light. In the initial media frenzy, President Obama blasted the politicization of the IRS as “outrageous.”

After the IRS was confirmed to be delaying the tax-exempt requests of conservative groups at a far greater rate than their liberal counterparts, the agency’s director stepped down at the end of his term. His replacement subsequently resigned from the agency.

And the IRS official in charge of tax-exempt decisions, Lois Lerner, invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination before Congress. She and Joseph H. Grant, commissioner of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, both abruptly retired from the IRS.

Congressional committees and the Treasury inspector general for tax administration found that groups loosely associated with the Tea Party were more likely to have their tax-exempt requests put on hold. Yet Obama concluded this entire mess did not entail “even a smidgen of corruption.”

It takes Orwell’s doublethink to explain how a scandal might have rated an “outrageous” before the people in charge quit, retired or invoked the Fifth, and then, after their embarrassing departures, was reinvented as an episode without corruption.

George OrwellIn politics, both conservatives and liberals make up stuff. But Orwell, who also blasted the rise of European fascism, focused more on the mind games of the statist Left.

Why? He feared the Left suffered a wage of hypocrisy in more openly proclaiming the noble interests of “the people.” Because of the exalted ends of equality and fairness, statists were likely to get a pass for the scary means they employed to achieve them.

Right now in America, words and deeds of both past and present become reality only when the leaders put them in the correct service of the people.


About Necessary and Proper

Jeff believes in the Individual's ability to excel when liberty and freedom of choice are protected. Also believes in the Community's ability to take care of the vast majority of its own issues and needs when the federal government leaves the Community's resources and sphere of control alone. State and local choice produce better results than centralized federal control.
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One Response to Twenty Fourteen: Newspeak Still Promotes Doublethink

  1. Mike T says:

    That’s a pretty big distortion of the CBO report on the ACA… the report said that workers would CHOOSE to work less hours – not that businesses would NEED less hours.

    And job lock is a real thing – it was only stupid, healthy people like me who could previously leave an employer with a good health plan to start their own business… This makes it more likely that ANYONE can do so because they aren’t limited as much by their health care plan… more people having the opportunity to start their own business IS a good thing.

    As for double speak – I’m impressed that the author went an entire article without mentioning Frank Luntz – the GOP king of double speak 🙂


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