For a writer in today’s radically changing direction, toward the far left of center, George Orwell and his 1948 class dystopian novel 1984 has unequivocally shattered all the Marxist utopian fantasies about the new world on their perverted horizon. One need look to nothing more than the decline of the English language as a form of mutual exchange. Pernicious ideas, such as political correctness, with its ideological shipmate, hate speech, have combined with other censorious ideas to virtually mute democratic and intellectual exchanges across our institutional borders.
With the Race Card, people use the undefined term racism to end all legitimate discussion on several issue in the public forum. Another ace in the Left’s deck of trump cards is the Hate Card, which has become more frequent in political debates today. Today, it isn’t enough to disagree with someone on the basis of personal prejudice, opinion, moral, ethnic, or religious background. Disagree or criticize any of the Marxist icons in matters of race, gender, and even abortion, in their eyes one becomes part of the crowd of haters that populated the Trump movement.
This is a tactical response that is based on the rhetorical non sequitur fallacy: he disagrees with me, therefore he must hate me and my group. It is a sophomoric approach that effectively lowers the tone of the current political and moral debates. Psychology 101 warns me that these people are caught within the neurotic web of projecting their own hatreds onto the heads of those who dare to disagree with them.
In general, the left’s tactics has devolved into what may be called the politics of hate. It is a Marxist approach, politicians use to silence their critics by soiling the reputations of those who would expose the nefarious deeds that they wish to keep hidden from the public consciousness. Today, people are literally cancelled from their jobs and their livelihoods or banished from so-call the mainstream to the woods of an outcast for opposing the pronouncements of presidents, governors and even some dictatorial mayors. This amounts to the personification of the Clintons’ Politics of Personal Destruction.
Thanks to the advent of universal social media, it has expanded from Hillary’s squelching of her husband’s bimbo eruptions to virtually every political issue on the map. Legions of self-appointed henchmen troll the Internet, searching for any thoughtless or embarrassing statement on race, gender differences or abortion. The ubiquity and frequency of this has rendered George Orwell’s Big Brother to the ranks of a cousin thrice removed.
This is an alarming wrinkle in the social fabric that strikes at the very nature of a civilized society. It renders null and void the unwritten gentleman’s agreement, present in most debates that adversaries can agree to disagree on an issue without demonizing the motivation of their opponent. This is a dangerous weapon that has effectively limited the nation’s most critical political and social discussions. It has hurt our democratic process, perhaps beyond repair. It is also a mark of the anti-intellectualism that clouds or distorts public understanding.
Proponents of hate have taken the rule of law to a new depth by criminalizing hate speech into a series of offenses that would seriously limit the ability of anyone to denounce any of their views or behaviors. Governments now criminalize ideas, or what Orwell called thought crimes, they do not want spread to millions of people. The public seems to have been mindlessly conditioned over the decades to accept these Orwellian principles. The country has already hopped on the bandwagon for adding more hate and thought crimes to our legal system.
Someday it will no longer be necessary for someone to actually commit a crime against another person. Rather, one could be prosecuted for merely thinking or speaking critical thoughts about Jews, blacks, gays, transgendered and abortionists. The Left reasons that to allow these thoughts in print, social media or even in private conversation would create a milieu of hate against one or more of these favored groups. Such a cultural atmosphere could lead to outbreaks of violence against individuals in this group, in their mind. This is another idea adapted from the pages of George Orwell. No free society can sustain such an unmitigated assault on its basic foundations and survive for too long. Western Civilization hangs in the balance.
I have experienced the slings and arrows of this tactic myself. Many years ago, on my weekly radio show on WGNU, I took many unpopular stances among the denizens of the Left. My views did and still swim upstream against the currents of the unwritten conventional wisdom. I have been accused of being filled with hate because I found President Clinton’s oval office behavior repulsive or because I believe affirmative action is systemically racist.
What bothers me now is how these self-appointed anti-hate squads could fathom what motivates anyone’s thinking. They wanted me to prove that I did not hate Clinton or all black people. It is virtually impossible to prove a negative. My Catholic faith teaches that it is sinful to hate another person. Catholics should hate the sin but not the sinner. In the case of Clinton, I hated intensely what he had done to this country, its moral principles and the rule of law but I do not think I ever came close to not separating the sin from the sinner.
The Obama years of un-Americanism and social reorganization were twice as hard on my conscience. Clinton had an innate charm that Obama could never approach. Biden has just opened the Obama wounds and is threatening our national survival, in the traditions of his Democratic Party. I do not wish them any greater pain or suffering than perfunctory criminal or civil justice would allow. Neither do I wish him to depart from the living into the land of the eternally damned for what they have fostered during their reigns in office.
I know this will sound irredeemably partisan but my life-long study of history underscores the consistency with which, the Party of Jefferson, Jackson, Calhoun, Wilson, FDR, Clinton, Obama and Biden have been at the forefront in the two most divisive epochs in American history, namely the Civil War and now the Cultural War. The two wars have more in common than meets the eye. Each was combined with an economic and ideological dialectic.
All of this tells that George Orwell was a prophet, ahead of his time and is vindicated by our present. His visions continue to dominate our current history and its actors. To paraphrase the Columbia professor, Jacques Barzun on baseball, whoever wants to learn the hearts and mind of America, must first read Orwell and of course Marx.