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.