Mitt Romney – the Doublethink Candidate

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.

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself — that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink

– George Orwell, 1984

To understand the concepts of doublethink is to understand the politics of Willard Mitt Romney, the doublethink candidate. In every aspect of his campaign, Romney has displayed uncanny ability to perform mental gymnastics necessary to properly espouse doublethink. I can’t claim to understand what Romney really believes – nobody can – the truth is repressed under the heavy weight of his consistent and multiple contradictions. From the information available about Mitt Romney all I know is this – he will stand for anything, say anything, and believe anything for votes. He has shed personal convictions in favor of doublethink. What’s most interesting is, not that Romney is denying past positions which were at odds with Republican dogma, he both is and isn’t, but rather Romney’s justifications for the position change. As an act it consistently amounts to nothing more than doublethink. It was good but bad; right and wrong, all at the same time.

The most obvious example is the health care bill he implemented as Governor of Massachusetts. Doublethink dictates that Romney must declare his version to be resounding success, a shining example of states’ rights, while condemning the national version, dubbed Obamacare, which is, to some extent, modeled upon Romney’s plan. The resounding similarities between Romney’s plan and Obama’s plan have left Romney reviled amongst certain conservatives, and thus has led Romney to pull from his reserves a little more doublethink. He is forced to reconcile his past without admitting error all the while condemning the carbon copy of his immaculate plan, and that is only one example of his doublethink principles.

Romney is forced into consistent doublethink when forced to talk about his career in the public sector which made him rather wealthy. He characterizes his time in the public sector being a job creator, though his company’s acquisitions were known for massive shedding of the work force. The company, Bain Capital, did attempt retain and create jobs in certain instances, but over Romney’s tenure there were more jobs lost than created; during a tenure which he amassed a fortune estimated to be in neighborhood of two-hundred and fifty-million dollars (while on the campaign trail Romney even referred to himself as “unemployed”). Simply put, Bain Capital created wealth for a few at the cost of the jobs of many. In spite of these facts, which as head of the company he must’ve known about, he continues to claim a record of job creation as an outline for a broader national outlook.

Another example is when Romney claims, “President Obama believes that government should create equal outcomes. In an entitlement society, everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort, and willingness to take risk. That which is earned by some is redistributed to the others.” Then by following his established principles of doublethink Romney promises, “What I can promise you is this – when you get out of college, if I’m president you’ll have a job. If President Obama is reelected, you will not be able to get a job.” He condemns the belief that government guarantees similar results for people, yet he can guarantee it himself. He has no evidence for either of these contradictory claims, but that is irrelevant, what matters is that Romney has no ideology, no core beliefs.

Romney has weaved his opinion to both sides of various issues, taking stances on both sides instead of a nuanced evolution of thought. As condescending as find Newt Gingrich to be, I can buy it when Newt explains a shift in political philosophy. Newt has been put under the flames for supporting (or creating as some speculate) the individual mandate idea in 1993 with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank. Newt has explained the origins of the individual mandate as a proposed opposition to earlier attempts at health care reform, this one creatively dubbed, “HillaryCare”. Though I don’t like the policy or politics of Mr. Gingrich, I can buy his explanation to the origin of the individual mandate. On the other hand, when Romney is forced to account for similar actions he falls into the pits of doublethink. He comically presents no alternative solution on the national level; rather his national solution is leaving it up to each state. If each state were to adopt their own reform we could wind up with certain haven states, much like there are for credit card companies which still allows them to charge exorbitant interest rates.

Romney, in my estimation, is the most dangerous candidate. He is the most electable on a national level out of the Republican field, probably because of the hair; but he is dangerous for his ideology which is as firm as a loose feather in the wind. The others, the usual gang of idiots, we know where they’re coming from: Bachman is crazy. Santorum has (obsessive) issues with gays. Paul is a reflection of the old know-nothing party (isolationists). Perry is a dumbed-down George W. Bush. Gingrich is a bad historian and has the ability to come off as a condescending prick. Then there is Huntsman, yeah, um, Huntsman has nice politician’s hair. Not to say Romney would be better if he were a hard-headed ideologue, I think people who are unable to let opinions and beliefs evolve are simply fools. What’s most frightening about Romney is doublethink makes it all but impossible to truly comprehend what he stands for; outside of his is firm in his conviction that he should be president. If a man’s beliefs are so flimsy that they will sway with the masses, if he makes clear, consistent use of lies and betrayals of simple logic to dance away from the truth by abiding the principles of doublethink, that man cannot be trusted.

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