I recently had a discussion with a woman, a liberal Democrat, who said she believes a woman should be able to control her body. The discussion was about abortion- more specifically, abortion by victims of rape- and she was defending a woman’s right to abort her baby. At the same time, she said she didn’t believe abortion should be used as birth control.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, one percent of women obtain an abortion because of pregnancy through rape, and one-half of one percent obtain abortions because of pregnancy through incest. Guttmacher’s mission statement says, “The Guttmacher Institute is a leading research and policy organization committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) worldwide.”
Again, according to Guttmacher, the following reasons, and their percentage of respondents, were given for abortions:
Some of the women surveyed also gave more than one of the reasons listed to justify their abortion. If only one percent of abortions are obtained by victims of rape, the overwhelming majority of abortions are used as birth control methods, which brings me to the real question, which is not about abortion, but the ability to hold two contradictory beliefs at the same time. How is it anyone can hold two contradictory ideas at the same time and believe they are both true?
This is not the only issue in our society where people believe contradictory ideas. Many who profess their Christian faith also endorse homosexuality although the Bible-the book of their faith- condemns homosexuality. Same sex marriage is another area where this dual belief system is in play.
George Orwell addressed this in his iconic book, 1984. He called it doublethink and defined it: “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
In Orwell’s book, doublethink is the basis of the government of Oceania and the government’s method of controlling personal thought. Oceania’s Ministry of Truth constantly bombards the populous with three slogans of doublethink: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.
In 1946, while Orwell was in the midst of writing his novel, 1984, he wrote an essay, “Politics and the English Language,” in which he made the following statement, “Political language...is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” His view on political language was illustrated throughout his novel.
Some have equated doublethink with hypocrisy which is as old as mankind. An example of hypocrisy is when my Democrat friend criticizes President Trump for his alleged womanizing, while, at the same time, he gives quiet consent to Bill Clinton’s, or John Kennedy’s sexploits in the White House.
On the other hand, one explanation of doublethink goes like this: “Doublethink requires using logic against logic or suspending disbelief in the contradiction.”
Today, the best practitioners of doublethink come from the Left of the political spectrum. Leftists are also the best practitioners of hypocrisy. When the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency reveals that April 2021 saw the highest number of illegal invaders at our southern border in twenty years and the president and his administration say there is no border crisis, do we know if hypocrisy or doublethink has set in. In either case, the assertion that there is no crisis on our border is a lie.
Orwell didn’t invent doublethink, but he defined it, gave substance to it and used examples in his novel. Throughout his writing career, Orwell kept a notebook, sort of a private journal, in which he often jotted down ideas for novels, observations, outlines for stories. In his notebook, he described doublethink as controlled insanity© Jim Terry
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.