Marvin Folkertsma

The ink was barely dry on the asterisk in Jimmy Hoffa Jr.’s rant about taking out those “sons-of-b*tches”—referring to Tea Party members—when the vice president made his own contribution at a Labor Day rally. “This is a fight for the existence of organized labor,” the veep shouted. “You are the only ones who can stop the barbarians at the gate!” And the diatribes have continued, with the establishment of a website designed to track unfair comments made by those who, in President Obama’s words, want to “cripple” America. Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ snippet about telling the Tea Party to “Go to H*ll!” (that pesky asterisk again) added a nice sentimental touch, and some Wall Street protesters are denouncing free enterprise with words snatched from Robespierre’s rich vocabulary.

This is pretty harsh stuff applied to a menagerie of mostly gentle souls whose views of constitutional government differ from those of President Obama & Company, but such perfervid comments take on a clearer meaning when viewed in a more appropriate context: George Orwell’s “1984.” That is, somehow certain voices of liberalism today sound less like traditional partisan pep-talks and resemble more Oceania’s “Two-Minute Hate” sessions, where party members screamed at a giant tele-screen filled with the face of Emmanuel Goldstein, one of Big Brother’s objective enemies. The purpose was to deflect rage against miserable social conditions by directing it to a foreign source; siphon off the hatred by venting against Big Brother’s enemies.

The parallels go beyond hurling epithets at that massive Leon Trotsky look-alike in one of the most memorable scenes in “1984.” Consider the three slogans of The Party applied to today’s Orwellian liberalism: “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” and “Ignorance is Strength.” As explained in The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, “the book” within the book, the purpose of war was to preserve the domestic power structure. As applied to today, Orwellian liberalism’s increasingly vicious attacks against the Tea Party and Republicans perform the same function, which is to preserve the current liberal power structure by blaming others for its failures. High unemployment, failed foreign policies, high energy prices, horrible housing markets, disastrous federal deficits—they’re all the fault of liberalism’s enemies. Republicans and Tea Party members—you, like Emmanuel Goldstein of 1984—are being blamed and are being used a distraction.


Marvin Folkertsma

Dr. Marvin Folkertsma is a professor of political science and fellow for American studies with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. The author of several books, his latest release is a high-energy novel titled "The Thirteenth Commandment."