She told me that, according to a recent poll, 50% of the American people want George W. Bush impeached.
I burst out laughing (not a good-mannered thing to do in such a genteel and tasteful setting) and told her she was out of her mind (which would explain why she's a die-hard Democrat). She asked me:
"Have you read the book 1984 in recent years?"
In fact I had re-read it just months ago and told her so.
"Do you realize how we are now facing the exact same kind of oppression here in the United States, as a direct consequence of the machinations (behind the scenes, in the dark of night) of Bush/Cheney, that Orwell outlined in his book?"
Again I disturbed the social hierarchy seated around me with uproarious laughter (and nearly spewed my appetizer).
We are all being spied upon ... Our neighbors are disappearing into re-education camps ... There are spooks in our television sets ... Repressiveness ... Control ... Control ...
Is this the same George Bush who can't get an immigration bill passed?
I started to explain the fact that George Orwell's book was a story about the absolute control of communication within, and freedom-of-action of, the masses, us proles, and about a pervasive, all-seeing government having perfected the ability to monitor the daily actions of the citizenry (right down to the personal journal that the protagonist, Winston, kept), even into the bedroom. Totalitarianism in its purest form.
But I stopped. And simply told her that she'd lost her freaking mind. And changed the subject.
To try to reason with people like this is an act of futility. And I wanted to enjoy my alcohol.
I was reminded of that conversation when I read this letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times:
Bush can't handle the truthThe truth.
What does it mean to win in Iraq? What will it take to win?
Bush demands we follow the military lead. But do we know what the military thinks?
Bush has punished those who disagree with him. He has pressured people in various agencies to his own political whims, no matter the facts.
Also, as in the Valerie Plame case, the White House campaigns to discredit those who disagree with him. For Bush, there is only his reality and no other. Whether he knows reality or not, he is deceptive.
Bush says wars are hard and demands sacrifice, but what is hardest for a nation to bear is when the casualty is truth and they can no longer trust the people who presume to call themselves leaders of the country.
With such a dishonest man overseeing the war, how can we know what the military truly thinks about what it means to win, or what it will take to win?
Doublethink* Orwell, George (1949). Nineteen Eighty-Four. Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, London, pp 35, 176-177
"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." *