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HANSON: An Orwellian nation of Obamathink
Today’s liberal vanguard recrafts words to mean their opposites
Question of the Day
The nightmare societies portrayed in the George Orwell novels “Nineteen Eighty-Four” and “Animal Farm” gave us the word “Orwellian.” That adjective reflects a vast government’s efforts not just to deceive and control the people, but also to do so by reinventing the meaning of ordinary words while rewriting the past itself.
America, of all places, is becoming Orwellian. The president repeatedly reminds the American people that under his leadership, the United States has produced a record level of new oil and natural gas. However, didn’t President Obama radically curtail leases for just such new energy production on federal lands?
Have the edicts on the barn wall of “Animal Farm” been changed again, with the production of new oil and gas going from bad to suddenly good?
Does anyone remember that the “Affordable Care Act” was sold on the premise that it would guarantee retention of existing health plans and doctors, create 4 million new jobs and save families $2,500 a year in premiums, all while extending expanded coverage to more people at a lower cost?
Only in Orwell’s world of doublespeak could raising taxes while the costs of millions of health plans soars be called “affordable.” Is losing your existing plan and doctor a way of retaining them?
The Congressional Budget Office recently warned that Obamacare would “keep hours worked and potential output during the next 10 years lower than they would be otherwise.” That nonpartisan verdict should be bad news for workers.
Not in our brave new world. The Obama administration says it is pleased that workers will now be freed from “job lock.”
What is job lock — a made-up Newspeak word right out “Nineteen Eighty-Four”? Work fewer hours, make less money and create fewer outputs — and be happy.
Around every January since 2009, the president has promised to close Guantanamo Bay. Is the detention facility now sort-of virtually closed — in the manner that Syrian President Bashar Assad and his chemical weapons are now virtually gone — as Mr. Obama decreed years ago, and in the manner that we are still hunting down the murderers in Benghazi who were supposedly outraged over a video?
Is there an Orwellian “memory hole” where these embarrassing proclamations are disposed?
In 2004, many in the media reported that George W. Bush, the demonized Emmanuel Goldstein of our era, had overseen a “jobless recovery.” Unemployment at election time in 2004 was 5.4 percent.
Yet since January 2009, only two months have seen joblessness dip slightly below 7 percent. A record 90 million able-bodied Americans are not participating in the workforce.
Yet the president, in Orwellian doublespeak fashion, recently claimed that the job picture is good. If 5.4 percent unemployment was once called a jobless recovery, are we now in a jobless recovery from a jobless recovery?
In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service confessed that it had targeted particular political groups based on their names or political themes — a Big Brother intrusion into private lives that was revealed at about the same time the Associated Press and National Security Agency eavesdropping scandals came to light.
During the initial media frenzy, Mr. Obama blasted the politicization of the IRS as “outrageous.”
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