I Hate To Say This, And Believe Me, I REALLY Hate To Say This, But The More I Read Of “What Happened” And The More I Hear Hillary Spin Her Defeat, The Less Upset I Am That Trump Is President

Exhibit A:

Yes, Hillary Clinton thinks the lesson of Orwell’s “1984” is that the public needs to rely on leaders, the news media and “experts.”

This would have exploded my head, thus earning a KABOOM! tag, if it was much of surprise. There is no benign reading of this passage, which was presumably either written by Clinton or approved by her, as well as by editors who one would assume had her interests in mind. Hillary is saying that it is authoritarian to try to define reality, and that the public should trust the government, leaders, the press and approved experts to define reality.  Their authoritarianism is evil; OUR authoritarianism is good, because, of course, we are right. Hillary Clinton thinks this way. She just told us, if we didn’t know already.


Or, perhaps, “Whew! That was a close one!”

This is, as readers of Ethics Alarms will recall, the reason I ultimately abandoned my decision to vote for Clinton as the horrible but obviously better candidate than Donald Trump. I realized that Hillary and her party now embodies exactly this anti-democratic and creepily (and creeping) totalitarian mindset. We know what’s best; we are manipulating the news, facts, and public opinion (and the nomination, debates, statistics, FBI investigations, the Constitution, Senate procedures, IRS policies, whether Benghazi was caused by a YouTube video…) for your own good, so trust us; when they do it, it’s wrong and sinister, but when we do it, it’s gooooood…

I wasn’t then and am not now at all certain that a national election endorsing the totalitarian, liberal-fascist approach to government that progressives increasingly embrace was the safest course for the nation. I’m not certain that emphatically rejecting the party that has taken such a frightening turn toward Big Brother, even if that rejection required electing an idiot, wasn’t a crucial and existentially necessary course. I am beginning to think that the “wisdom of crowds” may have been at work, just as Madison and Jefferson intended.

Lots of bloggers are now posting this excerpt. Over on Ann Althouse’s blog, where she posted it without comment (which is a comment anyway: res ipsa lquitur : it speaks for itself”), her commenters have made several pithy and enlightening observations:

  • I think this is part of the answer to “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead…?”
  • We didn’t just dodge a bullet. We dodged a nuclear warhead.
  • She literally Orwelled Orwell
  • The book “What Happened” will be followed by the book “What I Meant To Say”.
  • She’s an Experts Supremacist.
  • “Attempting to define reality is a core feature of authoritarianism…This is what the Soviets did…this is what happened in Nineteen Eighty-Four…” And this is why a film maker was dragged out of his house at 3AM and jailed for a year.
  • Well there you go. I always suspected she was not all that bright. This confirms it.
  • When Hillary read Animal Farm she thought the pigs were the good guys…
  • “… bullying of anyone who disagrees with his version of reality …” A classic example of projection
  • Shouldn’t the people who want, no, need, to be President ought to at least gain a Cliffs Notes understanding of the books they gloss over in order to curry favor? You know, books about ideas, human nature and political power?
  • What’s interesting about what Clinton wrote, regardless of whether she’s misinterpreting Orwell or not, is that she apparently thinks “mistrust in our leaders” is just as bad as “questioning logic and reason” and “mistrust in ourselves”.That indicates an ideology on her part that’s downright scary.

It’s a terrific thread: Ann moderates her comments as stringently as I do. One bold commenter tries to spin for Hillary, writing, “What a bizarre misreading of what Hillary wrote. She is saying you should trust empirical evidence, not just believe what somebody says.” He gets handed his head pretty quickly, and deservedly so:

Nope.  Hillary is talking about trusting and believing “exactly the people we need to rely on: our leaders, the press, experts who seek to guide public policy based on evidence, ourselves.” In other words, the establishment party line. The only thing Clinton left out was the “or else.”

Clinton’s statement is signature significance for someone the United States public should not permit to be President.


56 thoughts on “I Hate To Say This, And Believe Me, I REALLY Hate To Say This, But The More I Read Of “What Happened” And The More I Hear Hillary Spin Her Defeat, The Less Upset I Am That Trump Is President

  1. Would have LUVED to have been the fly on the wall when the interview preconditions were…um…explained by HRC’s handlers to Matt Lauer.

    And as I mentioned on another thread, she showed great restraint not including him on her “Blame List.”

  2. Well, Trump as boorish and petulant as he can be can hardly be described as totalitarian so I guessed we dodged the bullet somehow. Is this the new version of “well, you won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.”

  3. I wrote this for a previous thread but I chickened-out. But I always try to force myself, when I cower in chicken-fear, to say what I think.

    I have no idea what HRC desires to achieve with her book or where she fits into the scheme of things, but I am interested in what she writes because it involves an epistemological question. How to interpret the present? As I understand things, everything hinges on the fact that no one seems to have a clear idea how to interpret anything. There are too many stories vying for attention, asking to be believed.

    Ryan Harkins writes: “One of the greatest counters to depression and despair is an attitude of gratitude, something I truly see lacking in anything coming from the left. We have a great nation. We have great opportunities, and we have a culture that truly seeks – if sometimes in very strange, even damaging ways — to right wrongs and make life as fair as possible. If you look around the world, and if you look at just about any culture that existed since the dawn of history, you won’t find any people who have been so richly blessed as those in our country today. This is especially true when you consider the stability our nation has, and its lack of credible enemies that pose any existential threat to our nation. We can go about life assured that tomorrow will indeed be much like today.”

    The more that I observe, read and study, the less clear everything and anything becomes. I do not know how to interpret the present and, lamentably, no one offers much help to come up with a descriptive model.

    I discern, however, that this above-paragraph is sort of like an invitation to partake of a narcotic. It sets up a (sort of) false perception and ask one to inhabit it, but there are other — very serious, very meaningful truths — that operate against it. I would say, without wishing to offend in any deliberate sense, that this attitude is at the core of what I understand to be the complaint about ‘cuckservatism’. I do (sort of) accept that critical term. And this is the sort of conservatism I notice here and in other forums I am aware of. It is superficially critical and completely avoids the *real facts*.

    I would suggest that ‘what we have’, and what we live in and under, is a very different system, and a darker one, than that described by this above-paragraph. Or perhaps I should put it in different terms: it is a feature of common perception that though civic structures exist that are worthy and admirable, it is closer to fact to understand that we live in a system that is controlled/influenced by a ‘shadow government’. I do not say that this is my perception (I do not know what exactly to think and I am quite new to even making an analysis of the world and what is going on in it) but that it is a common feature of perception.

    But if I take Ryan’s assertion at its face value the people who understand the country to be controlled by para-democratic entities are paranoid, or caught in epistemological perception-traps and are in need to some sort of medicine-injection to come back down to ‘reality’ and to see clearly *what is*.

    ‘The lack of credible enemies that pose an existential threat to our nation’, when brought up against — for example — hundreds and even thousands of people who question to 9/11 events and all that their counter-stories indicate and portend, shifts the entire focus of what and who is an ‘enemy’. Am I to suspend the sense of truth that arises in the mind when I meditate on what these shadow-events actually mean? Why do I have the perception that the events of 9/11 represent — are — a fissure and a fracture that began with those events, shodowy and strange, and bleeds out into so many other areas? If the ‘narratives’ that I read are correct, 9/11 and all the machinations that have followed it, quite severely undermine the optimist’s sunny version. Didn’t it lead to an NSA-type state? Did it not actually represent the ending, in very real senses, of the Constitution (values, protection) in the most fundamental sense?

    What I can say —- even though I have no definitive means or method to arrive at a solid interpretation — is that it does not seem to me to be an ‘appropriate’ attitude to pretend that a very serious crisis is not upon us. If what I say (perceive, interpret) is true, it will not be cured by dulling one’s perception of what is going on and *what is* and adopting, against the facts, a contrived optimism.

    In certain very real senses, in certain senses that cannot be avoided to be seen, despite the relative wealth Ryan speaks of and any number of different positive features or aspects, the country is beginning to unravel. It seems to me that a false-optimism is not the proper stance or strategy to have in the face of this. But it has become my perception that some people, Ryan perhaps, actually have a sort of nostalgia for a narcotic present.

    • In some sense this is a false dichotomy though right? I mean your observations and Ryan’s comments are not mutually exclusive, they can both exist at the same time.

      Ryan is correct: “We have a great nation. We have great opportunities, and we have a culture that truly seeks… to right wrongs and make life as fair as possible.

      You are correct: “I would suggest that ‘what we have’, and what we live in and under, is a very different system, and a darker one, … it is closer to fact to understand that we live in a system that is controlled/influenced by a ‘shadow government’.”

      These two things can exist in the universe of possibilities together.

      • Not in any universe I’ve ever seen or would want to live in, Rusty. If a person thinks the world is run by the Jews or the Trilateral Commission or Goldman Sachs, they are crippled and can’t ever make their way, even in the U.S.

        Are there powerful, rich people in the U.S? Heck yeah. Do they let plenty enough crumbs fall off the table that normal schmos like me and my wife can make a life for ourselves? Heck yeah. All one has to do is take advantage of the opportunities we’re offered and keep your head down and work.

        Or you can spend your life complaining about people being richer than you are and end up miserable. I’d call that narcolepsy.

        • My assertion is that we live in a world where the understructure of power has become far more visible. There is a transformation in how people see the world. Or perhaps I could say there is more information available and with this information people do what one more or less must: make an interpretation. So, below to Ryan, I offered an outline of an interpretation. How will I assess if it is *true* or not, or to what degree it is true (or false)?

          Are you saying that in your view of things one should negate perception (understanding) and simply ‘keep one’s head down and keep working’?

          Everyone is, in one way or another, acting as an activist for the ethics that their interpretation of the world poses, don’t you think?

    • Alizia,

      You aren’t incorrect to criticize the Polyanna-ish tones of what I wrote, but I think you misunderstand what I was about. In general, the condition of humanity is one of misery. We are born in a world filled with violent forces that we, in general, cannot control. We are subject to natural disaster, to disease, to deprivations of all kinds. After all of that, we die. And this does not even begin to take into account the miseries we humans inflict on each other. It does not yet take into scope the brutalities, the injustices, the endemic hatreds and divisions, and the deliberate sabotaging of our every effort to build a peaceful, just, and vibrant society.

      Yet against this backdrop of suffering, we continue to strive. We have fought our way out of the stone age, the bronze age, the iron age, through the collapse of the Roman Empire, internecine wars, and plagues, and at every moment when it seems that all hope should have finally been extinguished, still the flame of mankind pushes forward against the darkness of the world. Why is that? It is because even in the worst situations we have these small, cherished hopes that propel us forward. We have these small, cherished joys that brighten moments along the way. And so we do still find cause to laugh in the face of genocide; we still find cause to dance while millions of innocents are slaughtered in the womb; we still find cause to celebrate even when economies are disintegrating, societies are collapsing, and people are dying in terrible, unimaginable ways. And this is because every day, we wake up and find that, even though terrible forces whirl around us, we still have to rise from bed. We still have to put food on the table. We still have to find meaningful work. We still have our families to tend to. And all these things are still cause for gratitude and joy.

      To suggest that our current administration, or any administration thus far, has caused us to live in hell on earth is disingenuous. We already live in a world of terrible, nightmarish suffering, and the veneer of civilization is all that keeps the worst of the darkness at bay. For those of us fortunate to be born in the United States, or to come live in the United States in this day and age, we have a privilege of living at a time when that darkness has never been so successfully held back. True, it cannot last. Certainly not the way our morals are eroding, certainly not the way we continue to divide ourselves into disparate camps that refuse to get along. And it may very well be that Trump will hasten the end. I personally think his election gave us a bit of breathing room, compared to Clinton, but I do agree that the writing is on the wall. Western Civilization has long passed its zenith and is in decline. The night looms.

      But what comes after? Even if we find ourselves in terrible upheaval for generations, each day will still present itself with the same challenges, the same needs. Get out of bed. Put food on the table. Tend to your family. Fight. And find those small joys that continue to brighten the darkness, and for which we should always be grateful for, even if tomorrow they will disappear. If we can’t be thankful for them when we have them, when should we be thankful for them? If we aren’t thankful when we have them, what ever would satisfy us enough to finally express gratitude? And if we live in fear of losing what we have tomorrow, how will we ever make it through today?

      I have an amazing job at the refinery where I work. I have a deep Catholic faith which has bolstered me through numerous trials, many of which were my own making. During the Obama administration, I watched as hostilities rose higher and higher against oil and against Catholic principles. I understand the temptation to wail against what we perceive as the doom of what we value. I’ve felt great anxiety over the future of refining in general, and of my job in specific. I can sympathize with those who have been struggling with having to completely readjust their lives to find new employment. That may be me in ten or fifteen years’ time. I’ve felt a great anxiety over the status of the Catholic Church in the United States, regarding whether or not faithful Catholics could continue to serve in public office, regarding whether or not the Church will maintain tax exempt status, and regarding whether or not organizations like the SPLC will make life difficult for any faithful Catholic bearing witness to the Catholic faith. This anxiety can lead to doubt, to despair, and to hatred. The only remedy against that is the continual reminder of what we do have. Today, I have an amazing wife, two wonderful little girls, an astounding career, comfort, security, and countless blessings which I know I do not deserve. Tomorrow, I may only have enough food to feed my daughters while my wife and I go hungry. But I will be grateful for what I have today, and tomorrow I will be grateful I can at least feed my girls.

      • Nice work, Ryan. That ain’t narcolepsy. It’s realism and a healthy dose of optimism. Get up,go to work take care of your family. That’s all there is to it. It doesn’t take a village. It takes responsible parents. Like you. You’re an ethics hero.

      • Hello there Ryan, thanks for your very interesting thoughts. It may interest you to know that in the first paragraph I felt your perspective was Catholic-Christian. My thoughts also go along those lines. The first order of business is, and always has been, the state of the soul and that of one’s family.

        I am a recent convert to Catholicism and find it very rich in that personal and somewhat private sense. I know that there are and there have been activist Catholics. One of the books I read to get a better grip on the Sixties was by one such Catholic: James J. Farrell ‘The Spirit of the Sixties: The Making of Postwar Radicalim’. He is obviously a ‘progressive’ Catholic, and I am sure his own politics are radical. There is definitely something to be said for the Catholic social teachings and how, properly understood and applied, they dovetail with progressivism in many senses.

        My present understanding is that we now live in a sort of ‘shell-government’ which has democratic (whatever that really means) origins and pretentions but, in fact, there is a shadow government operating behind the scenes, allied with intelligence and the military and industrial sectors, which is really where power lies.

        But even if, in my own case, I do not have enough information to really know if that is really true (I tend to think it is but I always hold to the possibility that I, like others, am ‘infected’ with some sort of social hysteria: a very real thing in our present), I know that many people openly or secretly feel this way. But it is more than simply feel: they understand at a fundamental level that this is so. Therefor, and I say this from a Christian and Catholic perspective, the nature of the battle is that of Ephesians 6:12. I actually sat down and read, cover to cover, the Catechism of the Council of Trent and there got the clearest sense of what is meant by ‘the nature of the world’ and the power of *the world* in that specific sense.

        This is why I referred to a fabricated/provoked 9/11 and the terrible wars that resulted from it. (And right today I cannot see an alternative to it being far more complex an event than the ‘standard narrative’). It leads to the sense that I am not in control of what is going on and my activism (except internally, privately, in my own prayer or meditation) is rather useless.

        The whole principle of ‘ethics’ in a society, especially one based on the idealisms of the US), is that you are operating in good faith. But if the governing powers are in no sense operating in such good faith and in fact operate completely against it, in the darkest of Machiavellian senses, to the point that they would engineer or allow to be engineered a mega-event like 9/11, tends to push one 1) toward a definite cynicism that 2) could turn to nihilism or 3) to be a strengthener of one’s internal, spiritual life and relationship and 4) an activist of one sort or another.

        Therefor I always think of these things though, most often on this blog, the focus is in specific ethical situations and problems.

  4. I don’t think you can discount her health in this. She did have a nasty fall and concussion in 2012. According to Bill Clinton, it took six months of “serious work” to get over that. Something like that could impact personality as well as the physical functions.

  5. Well, as you know I disagree with you about a lot, but I have to say, on this one, you nailed it for me. Not only was she a lousy candidate, she represented a lot of what’s become wrong with the Left.

    I agree.

      • Actually no, TexAgg, I would have probably voted for Kasich over Hillary. Not Bernie. Definitely would have voted for Bloomberg over Hillary. But it wasn’t to be.

        • …I would have probably voted for Kasich over Hillary. Not Bernie.

          See, this is why I am at EA: charles has the courage to tell it like it is. I may not like it, and his interpretation may not match my reality, but there it is. Thanks, Charles.

          About that courage thing: be careful who of your progressive friends knows you have this trait: you side can eat their own (just like mine) and they are hungry these days. Apostate is worse than infidel in many circles.

      • I can’t blame them. Trump was obviously bad, but with him, you basically knew what you were signing up for. As history peels back the layers of Clinton’s scum, people that defended her will be more and more horrified they did so.

      • I think with the current melt down the Left, we will rapidly discover that totalitarianism is not a bug, but a feature of the Left. A feature that mainstreamers are in a desperate race every generation to keep concealed long enough to impose.

        This entire post-Trump stroke the Left is going through may prove just how dangerously close that race was won.

      • No.

        IMHO what the Left needs is not to move more or less left, but to go back to its roots and move in another dimension on the chessboard. The same is true, again IMHO, for the GOP – it doesn’t need to move more or less right, it needs to break out.

        Just my $0.02

        • The GOP and Democrats have the same lust for power for it’s own sake these days. They are all Establishment Elites, who should rule by divine right.

          Kennedy was far more to the right than the Establishment GOP is today. Liberal used to mean ‘working class’ just as GOP stood for ‘big business.’ We have very few classical liberals left: progressives have weeded them out. Just as we have very few conservatives left in office. Patriotism used to be a common value, not a sham slogan for votes on one side and a ‘sophisticated’ smear on the other.

          Both parties have lost sight of what elections are for: run our nation for the common good, compromising when necessary, respecting opposing views as legitimate, even if you feel they are misguided 😉

          I am not sure how we ever capture that dynamic back, short of a catastrophic reset. And that is sad.

          charles and I could share a beer and agree to disagree without hurt feelings. Our worldviews allow us not only to discover we each might be wrong on any topic, but to allow that the other might not see things as we do.

        • Not sure exactly what you mean about going in other dimensions, Charles, but I’m glad to hear you’re not a Bernie booster. I think the parties need to compromise and get back to governing and doing something about uncontrolled spending. I just think the Dems are so immersed in more government being better government that they are absolutely unwilling to come off that position. Who knows, maybe Trump can knock some heads and get something done.

  6. Look, my screen name is slickwilly for a reason… I made a little hobby of following the Clintons after he became POTUS. The man made charisma his career, to the point he was forgiven rape by feminists. The Teflon President indeed!

    Hillary, on the other hand, rode Bills popularity behind the scenes. Little peeks into her life, never discussed in the MSM (“the smartest lady in the world”) showed a severe entitlement complex, a ‘let them eat cake’ attitude, and a spiteful wicked temper. I rolled my eyes when she moved to New York to be Senator there: it was their business who they elect, and it was slightly amusing to think of her as a carpetbagger. She really believed she was due the trappings of power, by divine birth or something.

    The fear of crossing the Clinton Crime Family seemed to combine with a wistfulness for a return to Camelot. People were willing to go to prison to protect them… and perhaps themselves, as a statistically abnormal number of former associates died prematurely. Not saying the Clintons killed them, just stating that an early grave was a real risk in doing business with the CCF. Ethics violations alone should have cut short her career: she was queen of the crooked business deal, selling influence from the White House B&B to State Department secret deals left dangling out on unsecured servers.

    So I was not surprised at her twisted authoritarian attitude. I knew that she thought herself better than the peons who elect her: she let the mask slip enough over the years to paint a pretty picture.

    Now her mania is on full display.

    • After the election my wife & I mentioned to a friend that was a Clinton fan that she was a criminal & possibly accountable for a murder or two (or more).

      Our friend said “yeah but she wasn’t charged & Donald Trump is a racist.”

      That’s when I knew Joost Meerloo’s words in his book The Rape of the Mind were correct…

      “The totalitarian world of mass actions and mass thoughts is far more comprehensible to the members of a participation-patterned and less individual-minded culture than it is to Western individualists.”

      • That’s an interesting quote, Q. I’m just now reading about the communists in Spain leading up to their civil war. What an ugly crew. I had no idea. I grew up on too much of SNL mocking Franco. I guess to commies, anyone who’s not a commie is a fascist. Or a reactionary. What a great idea- label anyone who doesn’t agree with you something you’ve made up. Sort of like anyone who disagrees with the full lefty menu these days being a bigot or a racist, or both.

        • Let me know if what you’re reading is worth it as I’m an avid reader. And yes, we’ve lost many friends since Nov. 9th for the crime of not falling for illiberal group think.

          I’m re-reading Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler by Antony Sutton. If the left today really wanted to fight the Nazi legacy, they’d look at what became of I.G. Farben, General Electric & Standard Oil. They might have to look at Rachel Maddow, for example, a little differently.

        • “I guess to commies, anyone who’s not a commie is a fascist.”

          This was actually a longstanding strategy of Soviet disinformation after WWII. Anyone who opposed both Nazism and Communism saw his anti-Nazism suppressed, the anti-Communism emphasized, and was distorted into a pro-Fascist caricature.

          • Back to identity politics. Once I have pasted on what I think is the correct label, I am supposed to assume the name is fully understood by followers/critics.
            Better test: “Show me what you do, not what you say you do.”

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