““Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.”– George Orwell
Imagine my surprise when I was perusing Twitter this weekend and found a tweet that asserted that the attack on the capital was not in fact sedition. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the wherewithal to save that Tweet, but subsequent searches found the article in question.
I would guess that most of you read 1984 at some point during school. It seems George Orwell is a common author that we run across in English classes at some point. I never actually read the book in school. I think I’ve read plenty of Orwellian short stories, so the concept of his kind of dystopia is pretty common and known by most people.
The concept of 1984 has been used by proponents on both sides of the aisle. Perhaps both sides could be right. Perhaps reality is no longer unbiased. Perhaps there are so many biased sources of information that we can hardly believe what we are told about the events of the day. Yet, occasionally we get to witness things first hand. It is particularly incendiary to see someone or some people attempt to tell us that what we saw is not what we saw and what we heard is not what we heard.
Yet, former President Trump attempted to tell us exactly that in his all out war with the mainstream media. He actually said that we can’t believe what we see and hear. When you eliminate the mainstream media then the only thing left is state sponsored media. From there, it is just a quick jump to the world that Orwell created in his novel.
Denial is one way of erasing the past. Most attempt to whitewash it. It isn’t that people didn’t invade the capitol. It is that they did it nonviolently. They had no weapons. The former president told us that they hugged the officers as they came in. They handed them all flowers and chocolates as they came in. If they are guilty of anything it isn’t paying for the tour.
Others resort to whataboutism. What about the protesters in Portland and Minnesota? What about the protesters everywhere else that caused property damage and hurt people. Some of them even had guns. Isn’t that worse than what the people did at the capitol?
Finally we get the conspiracy theorists. Sure, people invaded the capitol and sure they committed insurrection and sedition, but they weren’t the good, honest conservatives that came there to protest. Those were liberal agitators from Antifa and BLM that were trying to get conservatives in trouble.
Add it all up and it’s just pathetic deflection. First of all, we watched the attack. We know the numbers of officers that were either hurt or killed. The irony of the what about argument is that they show their hand on the last argument. Remember, conservatives always accuse you of what they are in fact doing. Certainly not all of the bad actors at protests out of Washington are in fact conservative agitators, but many of them were.
Yet, that doesn’t matter. Let’s say all of them were Antifa and BLM. It is difficult to separate in your mind what was behind the violence and who the violence was against. One group were protesting an election they lost. Others were protesting continual mistreatment by the police. One group attempted to overthrow a government in the midst of a constitutional event. The other group had members get violent in protest and may have damaged private property or injured innocent bystanders.
Let’s put together the conspiracy theory and dust for prints. So, people who are anti-fascists were attempting to interfere with the constitutional process of an election they won. Meanwhile, the president at the time clearly enjoyed what he was seeing and didn’t act to stop it. Had it been a left-wing conspiracy wouldn’t the president immediately have sent troops? Wouldn’t he have come out and said, that he didn’t want this? Instead, his video response appeared to be a sorry not sorry response.
The point is that when we don’t want something to be true we will try anything to convince ourselves that it isn’t true. Maybe we deny it happened in the first place. Maybe we rearrange our memories to change what what happened. Maybe we change the subject and try to get people to focus on something else that happened. Maybe we just change who did it. This is your shame. It’s right here and you can’t run from it anymore no matter how hard you try.