Glenn Reynolds: ‘1984 Was Written As A Cautionary Tale — Not An Instruction Manual’

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

An uncivil debate

1984 is here. CNN’s Brook Baldwin and Don Lemon, starring as soldiers for the “Ministry of Truth,” attacked the Daily Beast’s Matt Lewis for using the words “angry mob” to describe protestors who participate in activities such as: chasing Ted Cruz and other Republicans out of restaurants, disrupting the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings and final vote with their screams of protest, and pounding on the door of the Supreme Court Building.


Upon hearing Lewis describe these groups as “angry mobs,” Baldwin immediately tried to cut him off.

Baldwin: “Ohhhh, you’re not going to use the “mob” word here. Matt,” she scolds, as he tries to speak. “Matt” (he tries again) “Matt…A mob… Stop. Stop.” She will not allow him to speak.

Then, the vile, shrill and intensely unlikable Maria Cardona chimes in. “How many times has that happened Matt?”

Lewis tries to speak again. “It’s people who are upset with the way the country is going and the policies that these people…” He is abruptly cut off and instantly shouted down by the ill-mannered, intolerant Lemon.

Lemon: Will you let me finish, Matt, please, before you jump in? Okay? I’m making a point. Okay? I’m making a point. I can’t make it if you keep interrupting me…I’m the moderator and the host of this show. Will you let me finish? Matt, please! Let me finish.

Lewis: Bring it on. Mind if I have a drink? (He picks up his water.)

Cardona chimes in with more of her rubbish.

Lemon: You can do whatever you want. You can leave the show if you want. Shut up and let me do it.

(Note: I have been unable to import the clip from youtube. To view the discussion, please go to: and watch video entitled “Newt Gingrich: Left becoming more willing to destroy system.”)


The point of bringing up this uncivil exchange over usage of the word “mob” is that words are important. Especially in politics.

George Orwell wrote that the language of politics “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

Political language, he said, was expressed in vague or meaningless words because it was intended to hide the truth rather than express it. Welcome to doublespeak: language that pretends to communicate by hiding its intentions behind euphemisms and convoluted phrases.  Doublespeak makes the bad seem good and the negative appear positive and limits and corrupts thought.

Alan Moore, in his novel “V is for Vendetta,” wrote that “while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?”

This is all to say that words matter. Because this is so, one of the first steps a totalitarian state will take to achieve and then to maintain control over their citizens, is to alter the meaning of words and terms of commonly understood usage to their favored narratives.

The Democrats tried to initiate this step in the early days of the Obama administration. Instead of speaking of the “Global War on Terror, we were to use the term “overseas contingency actions.”  He refused to use the term “radical Islamic terrorists,” and referred to them as “foreign terrorist organizations,” as if to distinguish from Christian, Hindu or Jewish terrorists. And his Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, favored calling acts of terrorism “man-caused disasters.” This “corruption of language” was one of the opening acts of Obama’s plan to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”


Since that time, progressives have become far more brazen in their words and actions to achieve power. They defend the dangerous actions of Antifa claiming that the Constitution gives them the right to protest. But it doesn’t give them the right to harass citizens who disagree with them politically or to destroy property. The Democratic party has lurched so far to the left since Hillary Clinton’s shocking 2016 defeat, that  Democrats, starting with Obama, Clinton, Erik Holder, and Maxine Waters, are using increasingly dangerous language in their rhetoric. We didn’t quite grasp then the desperate behavior that Trump’s victory would unleash.

We’re hearing calls to eliminate due process, to abolish the Electoral College, to rewrite the Constitution, to open our borders and even to pack the Supreme Court. It was the Democrats’ behavior throughout now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process, however, that brought them to their all-time low.

Newt Gingrich, appeared on Hannity Wednesday night to discuss the escalating aggression in language and in actions from the left.

Gingrich: What you’re seeing is the emergence of a brownshirt party, to use the term for the people who in Weimar Germany went out and literally dominated the streets by brute force. They can’t win. They didn’t win in the senate, they didn’t win the presidency. In my judgement, they’re not going to win on Election Day. They’re becoming more hysterical, more antidemocratic, more willing to destroy the system.

President Lincoln once warned that there are people who oppose us so much, it’s their way or they destroy it. We’re faced with that kind of opposition.

So, let’s have an open public debate. If you think that people like Erik Holder, Hillary Clinton should be allowed to impose their will by brute violence, vote Democrat. If you think that’s profoundly wrong, then you ought to vote Republican.


Hannity then mentions a new Rasmussen poll (and I admit, Rasmussen polls tend to favor Republicans).

Hannity: Republicans now lead Democrats by a pretty healthy margin in terms of enthusiasm. And what was, just maybe two months ago, a huge gap in terms of generic ballot, it’s now dead even according to Rasmussen. There’s been a dramatic shift.

Could it be that, in their desperation, the Democrats have gone too far in their words and in their judgements about where exactly the line is drawn between their rights under the Constitution and the reality of their behavior? That perhaps the majority of Americans found their words and actions during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings to be unreasonable, if not abominable?

And that maybe the term “angry mob” is really just an angry mob and not open to interpretation?


A little parody from the Babylon Bee entitled, “‘Let The Hate Flow Through You!’ Cackles Cloaked Hillary Clinton At Campaign Rally”


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