David Warren, late of the Ottawa Citizen, at City Journal:
I don’t think he is especially malicious. … His promises of “hope and change” may be content-free, for the time being, but I’m sure he “believes” in the drivel he is mouthing. I expect he will prove more used than using, as his government agenda falls into place.
Perhaps I should explain what I mean by “drivel.” I could write “lies,” but these are only possible to those who have criteria for the truth. Drivel is what people talk who have no such criteria. The fact that what they’re saying may be true, or untrue, is of no significance to them. It is enough that it sounds plausible. The truthful man knows when he is lying; the postmodern man neither knows nor cares. He can believe himself “good,” as drivellers will do, because truth doesn’t come into it.
The old-style politician told knowing lies. The new-style politician doesn’t know what “lies” are. He uses the term rhetorically, against anything he doesn’t want to hear. The old-style politician would back down when confronted with the truth. The new-style politician doesn’t know what you are talking about. He assumes you are only trash-talking him.
Warren makes a critical point here, and one I wish people who value traditional civil liberties would grasp sooner and more completely:
Progressives aren’t lying when they say things that are not true, or even things that they must know cannot be true. Categories like facts and evidence, patterns and trends, do no weigh much with them or with their growing mass of voters. Warren again:
“The people” believe in drivel, too, as they have just proved. As I’ve mentioned before, a growing percentage of the general voting population has been morally and intellectually debilitated—“idiotized” is my preferred term—by postmodern media and education, and by spiritual neglect within (often broken) postmodern homes. Large vested interests can lead them by the nose, even while they imagine themselves victims of conspiracy. More.
And then they will blame the people they don’t like, who—chances are—had the least to do with it.
A way station on the road to serfdom is that the master gives the serf a chance to “punish” the people he hates, as an alternative to accepting responsibility.
Did anyone see this series, by the way? Lov Gov: