In which your humble writer gets punked…
While it may not be the Presidency, Paul Ryan (R-Minitrue) leads the Ministry of Truth.
House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan is pressuring the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History because it has archived and displayed posters from last winter’s Wisconsin protests against Gov. Scott Walker’s assault on collective bargaining rights.
Ryan wants the posters removed, as do several other prominent Republicans.
The move comes as part of a broader push by Wisconsin Republicans to prevent displays by public institutions of protest art from the mass demonstrations, which which went on for weeks and attracted some of the largest crowds of pro-labor activists in modern American history. Images of the more than 100,000 Wisconsinites at the state Capitol and inspired protests across the country.
All of the above is bullshit. I was punked along with the CapTimes and John Nichols. But this part is not.
Ryan’s work mirrors that of Rep. Steve Nass, a Whitewater Republican who chairs the state Assembly Colleges and University Committee who is also seeking to suppress a display of protest materials at the University of Wisconsin School for Workers.
The suppression of the past in the service of the present is a governmental feature we’ve learned about before. It’s a defining characteristic of a totalitarian system, a system and a way of thinking that has come to dominate the modern Republican party. As we learned in The G.O.P Blueprint For Eternal Victory, (aka 1984)
If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, IT NEVER HAPPENED–that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death?
The Party said that Oceania had never been in alliance with Eurasia. He, Winston Smith, knew that Oceania had been in alliance with Eurasia as short a time as four years ago. But where did that knowledge exist? Only in his own consciousness, which in any case must soon be annihilated. And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed–if all records told the same tale–then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’ And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ‘Reality control’, they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink’.
Never have we been so close to a party dedicated to the proposition that the past is an infinitely maleable clay from which the present can be moulded and the future pre-configured. From gerrymandering electoral maps to overwhelming the political system with corrupt money, the G.O.P. is dedicated to the proposition that no truth is more important than the one they want you to believe.