Writer points out Orwellian doublethink

To the Journal editor:

In his book “1984,” Orwell feared our ability “consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis [we] had just performed.” Sadly, that defines many Americans today.

How many Americans know in their hearts that Donald Trump is not only guilty of repeatedly harassing women, but also of outright misogyny, and yet they not only vote for him but also rationalize that suddenly the entire breadth of reputable journalism is possibly wrong and therefore, “we can’t really be sure of these charges.” This is what Orwell means by the doublethink ability “to know and not to know.”

How many American politicians are conscious of the simple truth that Republicans have held a majority in both houses and the presidency for two years without any immigration reforms, and yet they mouth the bald-faced lie that recalcitrant Democrats are to blame for their conjured crisis? This is what Orwell means by the doublethink ability “to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies.”

How many Americans believe that that there is too much negativity and hate in American politics today, while cheering the opinion that Donald Trump “tells it the way it is” with outrageously negative undertones of racism and violence? This is what Orwell means by the doublethink ability “to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them,”

How many Americans reason that all Americans benefit from a miniscule personal income tax cut that increases consumer spending, as an argument against the reasoned set of facts that the corresponding drop in corporate taxes from 35 percent to 21 percent has increased our national debt $200 billion dollars higher than when Obama left office, and that the loss of these revenues now conveniently raises issues about the affordability of entitlement programs like Medicaid? This is what Orwell means by the doublethink ability “to use logic against logic.”

How many American Christians repudiated the fundamental principles of Christ-like character traits like compassion, meekness, humility, and non-aggression by voting for an amoral if not immoral presidential candidate who possesses none of those Christian qualities, simply because he would impose on all Americans the religious belief that abortion is morally wrong? This is the principle that “the end justifies the means,” and what Orwell calls the doublethink ability “to repudiate morality while laying claim to it.”

Robert E. Hicks

Marquette