George Orwell understood that good language clarifies and bad language corrupts. He’d moved amongst Communists, so he understood how controlling people requires controlling language. One cannot fully erase ideas if the language to express them still exists — so one changes the language. In 1984, Orwell envisioned an Auschwitz-like world (“arbeit macht frei”) that takes old words and perverts their meaning so much that they become meaningless. He called this linguistic world “double think”:
“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”
The three most famous examples of double think from 1984 are, of course, War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength.
Democrat Joe Manchin has flung himself with total abandonment into the world of double think. In an interview on Fox News, Manchin vows to continue the fight to put limits on Americans’ rights to possess and use guns. During that interview, he collapses into an Orwellian double think heap:
This not only protects your Second Amendment rights, it expands your Second Amendment rights.
Think about that for a moment. The Second Amendment, as most recently interpreted by the Supreme Court, gives an un-infringeable right to bear arms, one that is predicated on a well-regulated militia as understood in the 18th century — a people’s army, not a standing army. In other words, every American is a potential militia member and therefore has an absolute right to bear arms.
How in the world, then, can any legislation expand up on that absolute right that is inherent in every American? By definition, our right to bear arms cannot be expanded because it is predicated upon 100% gun saturation. That means that any legislation can only leave the right unchanged, in which case the legislation is unnecessary, or it can limit that right, in which case the legislation is unconstitutional.
Faced with this logical conundrum, Manchin does the only thing left to do, which is to pervert language: By limiting your right to bear arms we will expand your right to bear arms.
George Orwell knew the Left and he knew how the Left thinks. There are no surprises. The only “surprises” that occur are when we let down our guard.