Thursday, April 5, 2012

Doublethinking Romney

In his seminal novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell defined "doublethink" thusly: "The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them....To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies." Is it me, or is that a near perfect description of Mitt Romney on the campaign trail? Scarier still are those Republican voters who showed up at the televised GOP debates. Again, is it me, or do these folks resemble Parsons, a secondary character in 1984 who was the protagonist's naïve neighbor? As Wikipedia describes him, Parsons is "an ideal member of the Outer Party: an uneducated, suggestible man who is utterly loyal to the Party, and fully believes in its perfect image." Parsons ultimately gets his just desert when he is reported to the Thought Police by his own daughter. She overheard him mumbling ill will toward the Party as he slept. Memo to conservative America: What goes around comes around. And don't think things can't get that crazy. Once upon a time, torturing POWs was illegal -- until the last administration went all medieval on us with waterboarding.

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