Paul Ryan And Sarah Palin Officially Usher In The New Year—1984

If you’ve never read George Orwell’s 1984, then you probably won’t much appreciate this post. But Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin both did something that represents, in a frightening way, how Trump has brought us into our own version of Orwell’s novel, whose main character, Winston Smith, had a job of rewriting history at the ironic Ministry of Truth.

Winston was a truth-seeker in a world that was ruled by the truth-changing “Party.” He hated the totalitarian Party and had rebellion in his heart. He maintained a diary to keep him grounded to reality. Big Brother, though, eventually caught up with him. The Thought Police arrested him and the tortuous brainwashing began. Winston needed to get his mind right.

The sad thing about Orwell’s 1984 is that Winston did get his mind right. He confessed to crimes he didn’t commit. He betrayed the only person he loved. Black became white. Big Brother won.

Now, this is where Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin come in. What they represent, in their own way, is the Thought Police under the Party of Trump. Each represents just how powerful a force Trumpism has become, and how mind-bending it is. Republicans, almost all of them, are getting their minds right. And they want the rest of us to follow. America is fast becoming a large, thankfully only metaphorical, Room 101. They want to weaken our resistance.

I heard Paul Ryan say this morning that, “the healthcare system has been ruined, dismantled, under Obamacare.” Now, that is most clearly a lie. Not a word of truth in it. Not one word. But during the short press conference that followed his utterly false claim, not one reporter asked him to defend it. Not one reporter asked him if it was irresponsible to lie to the American people in such an egregious way. Reporters were instead focused on Trump and something he tweeted. And one reporter even shouted a question about the Senate gym. Black becoming white.

Then we have Sarah Palin. Way back in what seems like ancient history now—it was 2008—WikiLeaks published some of Palin’s emails, which had been stolen by hacking into her account. She, naturally, didn’t take kindly to Julian Assange, who founded WikiLeaks two years earlier, publishing her private ramblings. She was right to be outraged. Privacy is supposed to be private.

But this is 1984 now. And here, in its entirety, is what Palin posted on Facebook on Tuesday night about Assange:

To Julian Assange: I apologize.

Please watch Sean Hannity‘s interview with Julian Assange (Wikileaks).

Exposing the truth re: the Left having been oh-so-guilty of atrocious actions and attitudes of which they’ve falsely accused others. The media collusion that hid what many on the Left have been supporting is shocking. This important information that finally opened people’s eyes to democrat candidates and operatives would not have been exposed were it not for Julian Assange.

I apologize for condemning Assange when he published my infamous (and proven noncontroversial, relatively boring) emails years ago.

As I said at the time of being targeted and my subsequent condemnation, though, the line must be drawn before our troops or innocent lives deserving protection would be put at risk as a result of published emails.

Julian, I apologize.

Palin’s mind is now right. Black is white. Julian Assange’s dark heart is now as pure as the wind-driven snow. But more than that, Palin is remapping the minds of her earnest followers, millions of them. This brainwashing technique is part of Trumpism. It is cultish. It is dangerous. And it is working. Assange, who almost certainly collaborated with the Russians to help get Trump elected, is fast becoming a hero on the right. And journalists and public officials who try to tell the truth about Assange and the Russians are now called liars. For millions of Americans, the only reliable source of facts is Trump’s Twitter account, the Ministry of Truth-in-waiting.

As noted, Orwell’s dystopian novel did not have a happy ending. The denouement of our present story is obviously unknown. What we do know is that on January 20, Trumpism and its tweeting Ministry of Truth will marry real power. Republicans will soon have it all. Resistance is critical. This version of 1984 must have a happy ending.

How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?

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8 Comments

  1. I see no happy ending. A couple of traditional “bastions” of TRUTH — the Church and the Press — sold out years ago. In fact, they collaborated in building a post-truth environment by having the Press go to the Robertson, Falwell, Jeffres, Dobson and Perkins perverted versions of Christianity as the quotable “norm”, thereby claiming they were giving the church a voice. That was a bad sentence — but you get my drift. The voice was a false one and with it the bar for truth was not just lowered, but driven deep under ground. The common man cannot trust the Church. The common man cannot trust the Press. The Court is the most corrupt in the nation’s history. There are no statesmen in the GOP and they own the government — rather Putin and the Koch’s own the government. This will resolve itself when America falls. I don’t think that will take very long. We live in a nation so intolerably stupid that people actually look up to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Jeff Sessions and yes, Sara Palin. What a shit storm our laziness has unleashed.

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    • Your comment about living in a nation so intolerably stupid is the most intelligent observance of the state of our nation I’ve seen yet. I mourn with you what’s left of our once great country

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    • My friend,

      I will respond in two parts. The first I post here in the comment section. The second I will present as a blog post.

      I confess I never quite looked at the dynamics of the press-church (excuse me, Press-Church) interaction the way you put it. I guess I was too heavily influenced, when I was a conservative, by Catholic conservatives like Bill Buckley and Pat Buchanan and Joseph Sobran to notice that, typically, journalists looked to people like Falwell, Robertson, and Dobson as spokesmen for Christianity—even though Phyllis Schlafly, a Roman Catholic, also got the ear of the press in her day (as did Pat Buchanan, who was up until a few years ago an employee of MSNBC). I tend to lump all conservative Christians, whether they be Baptists, Pentecostals, Catholics, etc., into one group and call that the Religious Right.

      Having said that, I’m not quite sure what you mean by the phrase “perverted versions of Christianity” in reference to “Robertson, Falwell, Jeffres[s], Dobson and Perkins.” I’ve used a lot of keystrokes attacking every single one of those men (and Schlafly and Buchanan, too, for that matter), but I don’t consider what they believe to be, in the strictest definition of the word, to be perversions of Christianity. In some important ways (but not all ways), as detestable as their theology is, rather than a corruption and distortion of the original I find it to be relatively loyal to what the Bible teaches (anti-homosexuality is just one example). What I find is a perversion of their Bible-based Christianity (at least what is presented in the New Testament) is the wedding of their fundamentalism to Republican politics. If that is what you mean, we are in complete agreement. In any case, I would be interested in your opinion in more detail, if you have time, especially if you would expand on the interesting claim that,”The common man cannot trust the Church.” (My view is that the common man, or anyone else, shouldn’t trust the Church because the Church is inherently untrustworthy for reasons I have discussed frequently, as you know.)

      For “Part Two” of my response, please refer to my general blog post. And thanks for your indulgence and for making me think, once again.

      Duane

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      • I think, Duane, we are mostly in agreement. You got the gist of my clumsy argument, but let me clarify a point. My theology, as academically well-heeled as it may have once been, is now more minimalist and, therefore, unconventional. It is arrogant of me to call what passes for contemporary Christianity perverse — to your broad and mostly fair point.
        Let me restate my position like this: the contemporary Church is NOT what Jesus had in mind. Actually, a large part of what passes as New Testament literature — especially portions of the writings of Paul — is not consistent with the simple message of Jesus. I’m certainly not the first to suggest this. Paul could never get over his default position of exclusivity. He was a Pharisee for crying out loud. The new Pharisees (the Religious Right) love his work. They are a little put off by Jesus, however. Too radical. Too inclusive. Too damned liberal. There is nothing more liberal than grace.
        Jesus never said a word about gender preference or family planning. He did have a harsh bit to say about Capitalism and using religion to exploit the underclass.
        The Church as it evolved “exploited” the poor. And you are correct, the common man should never have trusted that Church. But the common man then couldn’t read. He took the crumbs and innocently gave up his courage and his reason.
        I also don’t think every member of the historical clergy was a cynical snake oil salesman. Some good was done, but arguably a great deal more harm. We don’t have time to delve into the evil of the Crusades or the Inquisition. The legacy of corruption of much of the Papacy is well documented — as is the persecution of other denominations by Calvinists, Anglicans, Puritans — and now, the Baptists and Megachurch Independents.
        The current American “Christians” are of diverse backgrounds, with diverse levels of education and intelligence. But most can read. Most have to reason at least a little to survive. We prefer our horrible TV shows (of course there are a few good ones) and video games and NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA distractions to engaging in meaningful thought. Most Christians let their greedy pastors tell them what to believe.
        Maybe I expect too much, but I have little patience for functioning adults’ willingness to turn their lives over to the rantings of hucksters like Robertson, Huckabee and Jeffress.
        Some will say my theology is one of convenience — though I do not see the Sermon on the Mount as a path to convenience.
        This is the basis of my argument.
        They may be right. I may be crazy.

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  2. You’re right on the money as usual Duane. Very scary times our country is about to enter. I pray that somehow we survive 4 years of Trump and the Republican efforts to dismantle our democracy.

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    • Scary indeed. But read my latest post and tell me what you think about my stance in favor of resistance and against cynicism. I would welcome your input.

      Duane

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  3. Trump’s natural inclinations are a good fit for an Orwellian Ministry of Truth. Twitter is one-way communication without the discomfiting feedback. Perfect. Also, with the mottoes. Make America Great Again. When did we stop being great? Rebuild our military! Er, what part of the military needs that? Mexica will pay for the wall! Ah, how’s that going to work? Replace ObamaCare. etc., etc. War is Peace seems particularly apt now. Welcome to four years of repetition and Superlatives Unlimited.

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    • The “build the wall” bullshit was so predictable, in terms of how it would play out. We knew that there would be no wall built as Trump asserted it. And we knew Mexico wouldn’t pay for the limited wall that Republicans would build. And we knew none of this hypocrisy would matter one bit to his cult followers, both in Congress and out. That is what makes these times so damned frightening. Nothing seems to matter. Lies are told over and over again and even those stalwart journalists who try to keep up eventually have to move on to other things because, well, because the boss demands they follow the latest outbreak of nonsense and obfuscation over that which has passed. Case in point: Trump told us he had “intelligence” from other sources that he was going to share last Tuesday or Wednesday. Where was it? And when was the last time you heard anyone on cable, or anyone on nightly news programs, or anyone on Sunday shows, mention it? Gone. Vanished. The reaction to Meryl Streep is the news of the day.

      Duane

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