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Belmont Club

Shameful honor or honorable shame?

August 26th, 2008 - 2:11 pm

Why can’t I have my cake and eat it?John Kerry’s “finest moment”, according to Bill Ayers, (YouTube link) was the day he threw his medals away. Should we listen to him? Is it possible to even discuss the video without somehow being accused of bigotry? Some have implied that society’s “finest moment” should be the ability to throw the information about what is implied about Ayers, as exemplified by the anecdote he himself tells,  away.  Yet Ayers himself doesn’t cast aside the information, but shouts it from the housetops as in the recent interview. How does one listen, yet not listen to Bill Ayers? The implied answer is to wear a filter where the Ayers story about Kerry becomes a noble anecdote — a kind of modern Horatius Not At the Bridge story.

The AP writes that “Barack Obama is striking back fiercely and swiftly to stamp out an ad that links him to a 1960s radical, eager to demonstrate a far more aggressive response to attacks than John Kerry did when faced with the 2004 “Swift Boat” campaign.” But why can’t we argue it is Bill Ayers himself, who is purposely making these remarks about John Kerry, that is “Swift Boating” Barack Obama? When Jeremiah Wright was caught on tape saying “God Damn America! Hillary ain’t never been a ******!” and air humping before the congregation, Obama solemnly intoned that this was not the Pastor Wright that he knew. Its curious that he can’t say ‘this is not the Bill Ayers that I didn’t know, never having known him, and simply being his neighbor’.

Information in the political world has the curious property of being there and not there. That is only possible with a filter and George Orwell described it first. Doublethink, he wrote is:

“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 so 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.”

Watch this interesting video featuring the confrontation between Alex Jones and Michelle Malkin in Denver. How do you think Alex Jones might characterize his behavior? Indignation? Righteous anger? Jones’ signature message is that America is becoming a country of coercion; if so, it’s amusing to see how he proceeds to demonstrate it.


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