The past year under Progressive rule has been quite an eye opener for me. I am of the generation that was required to read George Orwell's 1984 in high school (it being, conveniently enough, 1984), and have been uneasy about all of the correlations between that book and our current government. Not that I'm saying things are that bad already - far from it - but I can see the ideas and plans being planted today that will eventually produce Orwellian fruit.
During the Bush administration, the biggest threat to personal liberty, in the eyes of Progressives, was the Patriot Act, which authorized surveillance of the American people's electronic communications for security reasons. Ironically enough, some actually cited 1984 in their arguments. Big Brother! Big Brother! they screamed in protest. How dare you listen to our phone calls - you are invading my free speech!
But the most obvious change is the gargantuan nanny state the Progressives under Obama are trying desperately to foist upon the American people. Their brazen determination in passing the highly unpopular health care bill is exhibit number one. That bill would give the government control over our own bodies. Interesting how they have conniptions about Big Brother listening in on a phone call, but Big Brother making very personal decisions on their physical well-being is a-okay. One can only imagine that if Obama had proposed the Patriot Act, it would have passed with little objection.
If that isn't enough, now they are talking about controlling our thoughts.
I know, I know, crazy right? Unfortunately, toes have already been dipped into that particular bath, and the water seems just fine. NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd has already broken ground on the Thought Police 'thinkcrime' concept with her article on the unspoken but still, apparently, thought addition of 'boy' to Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" Those on the right dismissed her accusation as crazy talk, and rightly so, but the left embraced her hypothesis, happy to put words not just in someone else's mouth, but in their minds, thus opening them up to castigation and derision.
A recent report from CNS News on President Obama's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission nominee, Chai Feldblum, highlighted this mindset. Her views are actually a twofer for the progressives - attacking the right to think your own thoughts in the privacy of your own mind, and attacking religion at the same time!
In an article, titled "Moral Conflict and Liberty: Gay Rights and Religion", which was published in the Brooklyn Law Review in 2006 she writes:
“Just as we do not tolerate private racial beliefs that adversely affect African-Americans in the commercial arena, even if such beliefs are based on religious views, we should similarly not tolerate private beliefs about sexual orientation and gender identity that adversely affect LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] people,” the Georgetown law professor argued.
I beg your pardon, Ms. Feldblum, but we do tolerate people's private beliefs, even if they are racial in nature, provided those beliefs do not enter into a public forum and discriminate as a result. If I want to hate, say, smurfs because their blue skin reminds me of democrats, that is my own business. I probably should go into therapy, but that's a private matter, because those are my private thoughts. If I were to then refuse to hire or serve smurfs at my business because of their liberal blue tint, well, then Ms. Feldblum can take issue with me.
Reading 1984 in high school was a revelation for me. In the Cold War era that I grew up in, there really were places like George Orwell described in his books (Animal Farm was based on Stalin's Soviet Russia). The irony of it all is that the man was a socialist, but he abhored the totalitarian state, as his books Animal Farm and 1984 illustrated so profoundly.
These books need to be required reading again in our schools, because the totalitarianism Orwell so opposed is coming to fruition under the careful nurturing of the Progressive Agenda.
Progressives know full well that knowledge is power, and so they have been making sure for decades that We the People, under their Progressive-controlled academia, are powerless. Perhaps it's time that parents have their own required reading list for their teenaged children, with books like 1984 and Animal Farm at the top of the list.
I know I will., so that when my kids go to college and are fully immersed in the liberal doctrine, they will recognize Big Brother when they see it. I hope to God I'm not alone.