Why then do we not call lies lies, and liars liars? Because there are consequences. Had O’Reilly told Obama something like “You know that this is false. You are insulting me by lying to my face. What makes you think that I, or any other American would stand for that?” he would have been ostracized by the Establishment – and lost his prized access to the White House.
For ordinary Americans, calling the regime’s lies by their name, deviating from political correctness, carries far stiffer penalties, because the regime has labeled each such deviation as an antisocial pathology: racism, sexism, homophobia, islamophobia, “denialism,”etc., any of which mark you as an opponent of those who count. They may fire you, pass you over, or just exclude you from that to which you wish to be included.
This is new and incomplete. But only in America. It is the very routine, the very constitution, of totalitarian society. Returning our attention to the indissoluble link between truth and freedom, lies and servitude, was the great Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s enduring contribution to our civilization.showed that totalitarianism works by leading people to take part in the regime’s lies, and that it does so mostly by a host of petty incentives. Then he wrote: “the simplest and most accessible key to our self-neglected liberation lies right here: Personal non-participation in lies. Though lies conceal everything, though lies embrace everything, but not with any help from me.” The lies that hold up corrupt regimes, he noted, like infections, “can exist only in a living organism.” Hence whoever will live in freedom “will immediately walk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film showing if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda.”
We should all do that. Even Bill O’Reilly.
I spend a lot of time exposing the lies of Obama and his totalitarian regime, and I never hesitate to call him a liar when I think he is being such. Of course, in the back of my mind is a low throb of worry: When will my taxes be audited, when will a SWAT team make an “mistaken address” entry to my house, when will I be pulled over on a highway and searched for drugs – oh, wait: that already happened.
That said, one of the marks of tyranny is, as Codevilla points out, the deliberate and calculated substitution of pleasing or useful lies for inconvenient truths. This is coupled with the use of terror to enforce acceptance of those lies as truth.
We aren’t all the way there yet, but we’re getting a lot closer. A great deal hinges on the electoral choices we make over the next decade or so. I wish I could say that I’m hopeful about that, but, well.
Not so much.