Newspeak, Jedi Mind Tricks, and the American Left

Member Group : Lincoln Institute

You might think it would be difficult to tie together the novel 1984 written by George Orwell, the Star Wars film trilogies, and the current ultra-Left wing propaganda being parroted by the legacy news media. It actually is quite easy.

You see all three feature the same tactic, but use different names. Orwell called it Newspeak, Star Wars employed Jedi mind tricks. The Left today combines the two by irrationally redefining terms – the hallmark of Newspeak – then performs rhetorical mind tricks designed to make something appear to be other than what it actually is.

To carry through the analogy Big Brother, in this case President Joe Biden, raised the process to an art form when he claimed $3.5 trillion in so-called “human infrastructure,” along with $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending would actually cost the nation nothing.

There is much there to unpack.  Let’s begin with the obvious: spending $5 trillion will not cost nothing.  Spending $5 trillion will cost $5 trillion.  Biden and congress can rewrite many laws, but they cannot rewrite the laws of economics.

If you spend $5 trillion then it must be paid for either through enhanced revenue (higher taxes) or by expanding the money supply (printing money).

Either course of action will have a dramatically negative economic effect. Tax more you stifle investment and innovation, print money and you trigger inflation.  Those are the costs and they are painfully real.

Then there is the term “human infrastructure.”  This is a new type of Newspeak designed to Jedi mind trick the electorate into thinking a radical Left-wing wish list of social spending is somehow an “investment” in our well-being. It is in fact a socialist ploy designed to dramatically increase government control over every aspect of American life. The witches’ brew of spending uses the pretext of fighting the perceived negative effects of climate change to give Big Brother more control over everything from education to the economy.

Spending is not the only Orwellian assault being undertaken by the radical Left wing that has taken control of the Democratic conference in congress.  An unconstitutional assault on voting rights it is another misdirect. Again employing Newspeak the bill has been dubbed the For the People Act.  In fact it is a For the Politicians Act.

It is a bold effort to nullify individual state constitutions by putting the election process in the hands of federal bureaucrats and to hijack the congressional redistricting process by requiring so-called “redistricting commissions” to carry out the task rather than state legislatures.  All of this is aimed not at election security and integrity, but rather it is designed to advantage Democrats by changing the rules.

The Left has good reason to continuing employing these tactics.  Think back to the passage of Obamacare.  Obamacare is officially known as the Affordable Care Act.  The purpose of what became a massive federal intervention into health care was supposedly to provide coverage to the uninsured.  Instead it radically changed the system making health care significantly more expensive – or unaffordable – and doing little to expand coverage.

As with the Affordable Care Act, the Left is attempting major structural change and economic disruption not by building a bi-partisan consensus, but rather through the raw exercise of political power.  Democrats have the barest of majorities in both chambers of congress and, as they always do when they can’t win playing by the rules, are seeking to change the rules by ending the Senate’s long held tradition of filibuster whereby it takes 60 senators to agree to end debate and pass legislation.

And woe be it to anyone who challenges Left wing orthodoxy.  Parents across the nation have been fighting so-called equity policies, Critical Race Theory, and other racist teaching in our schools.  That has led Attorney General Merrick Garland to resort to Newspeak by labeling those who disagree as “domestic terrorists.”  In the process he is turning the Justice Department into thought police.

George Orwell wrote his seminal novel back in 1949, but in many ways fiction has become reality.  Keep in mind the ultimate outcome of the novel was a totalitarian society wherein every thought and action was controlled by the government.  Time will tell whether the American Left will completely transform the United States of America into Orwell’s fictional state of Oceania.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal and American Radio Journal.  His e-mail address is [email protected].)


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