A risky gamble

By Preston Mackert

Opinion Contributor

In the last edition of The Griffin, there was outreach for the voice of dissent. I would like to share a few facts that may help you ascertain a different perspective.

This year, greater than 50-percent of people in our age bracket did not cast a ballot. Widespread negativity and partisanship help explain this absurd level of apathy; however, it appears to be by design. Personal bias deteriorated our interest in neutral facts. Attacks were predicated on character rather than policy. Arguments were rooted in anecdotes. Identity was no longer defined by intellectual prowess, but based on the color of our skin or sexual preference.

Why allow things out of our control drive the perspectives we construct for ourselves? Animosity destroyed our curiosity and turned a nation blind to its own hypocrisy.

Two parties allocate control over our population. Power corrupts the minds of few who aim to corrupt the minds of many. Political choice is part of the illusion; our society has become reminiscent of Orwellian nightmares. The phrase “alternative facts” may come to mind, but should we not consider every fact? Bill Ivey, former chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts, exclaimed that “we’ve been quite content to demean government, drop civics and in general conspire to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry” in an email to John Podesta. Ivey has attempted to explain the semantic meaning of this quote, but let’s consider the world around us and try to determine that ourselves. I will attempt to relate Orwell’s world to the one in which we live. While bias is unavoidable, it should appear in solution, not diagnoses. Quotes are directly from 1984.

“The Ministry of Truth…concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts.” For those unfamiliar with the book, Orwell satirically names these ministries. Here are some facts: Tyndall Report found ABC’s “World News Tonight,” “CBS Evening News,” and “NBC Nightly News” spent 32 total minutes covering issues over the course of ten months in 2016. More in depth, ABC spent 8 minutes covering only terrorism. NBC divided 8 minutes across terrorism, LBGT issues, and foreign policy. CBS devoted 16 total minutes to topics including foreign policy, terrorism, immigration, policing, and the EPA.

The report also had this to say: “No trade, no healthcare, no climate change, no drugs, no poverty, no guns, no infrastructure, no deficits. To the extent that these issues have been mentioned, it has been on the candidate’s’ terms, not on the networks’ initiative.” It is not a stretch of the imagination to claim this as fake news. This is clearly an act of subversion.

The Griffin even insinuated that Trump had no policy positions in their advocacy of Hillary Clinton, but who can blame them? It isn’t their fault the news won’t show us pertinent information. The networks knew it would be challenging for Clinton’s campaign to justify her historical record of detracting from prior policy positions, many of which Trump now advocates for. I’ll leave you with this: the NDAA was signed in 2014. It allows the use of propaganda against US citizens and was presented as a bipartisan effort. Proponents argued a need “to effectively communicate in a credible way.” My opinion? It isn’t about what you know, it’s about what you don’t. “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.”

“The Ministry of Peace…concerned itself with war.” The previous administration’s foreign policy would likely appear inimical to most of our personal interests. We started a war in Libya without congressional approval, started a drone war in Yemen, escalated proxy wars in Somalia and Pakistan, escalated the war in Afghanistan, started a new war in Iraq, created a proxy war in Syria by funding “moderate rebels” that included members of ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and removed sanctions from Sudan despite the country’s prior sponsoring of terrorism. In total, Obama dropped 100,000 bombs in seven Muslim countries (the ones Trump highlights in the travel ban).

Obama also sent 3,500 troops to back neo-Nazis at the border of Ukraine and Russia, escalating a new Cold War. The liberal Huffington Post had this to say: “Just a cursory glance at the profiles of Ukraine’s new leaders should give pause to the most zealous of Russophobes.” Obama deployed special operations units to 134 different countries (68-percent of the world) and sent 100 billion dollars in arms to Saudi Arabia. It is interesting to note that Tyndall’s report found this year to have “the least coverage of US foreign policy in the 29-year history of this database.” I come from the understanding that diplomacy is more effective than war. Trump is careful with his words when he calls for “peace through strength”; meanwhile, Clinton called to extend foreign policy measures of the past administration. The military-industrial complex is not theory. “WAR IS PEACE.”

“The Ministry of Plenty…was responsible for economic affairs.” Our economy is at risk of losing 47-percent of current jobs to automation. In my opinion, we have to strike a balance between capitalism and socialism to ensure proper quality of life for future generations using universal basic income. This requires crafting a new philosophy that borrows elements from multiple schools of thought. We are told that reduction of government funding produces dissonance towards values provided by government agencies. I wonder why we call them agencies?

Institutions such as art and science will flourish with or without bureaucracy. Tesla is most likely to produce large scale renewable energy solutions, not the EPA. Cutting regulatory measures does not equate to zero regulation. Slavery was never abolished; it was rebranded. Establishment control starts at the level of early public education, where the state controls thoughts that enter an economy working for them, not you. “FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.”

“The Ministry of Love…maintained law and order”. Comprised of the “thought police,” they seek to change language within society. Communication is imperative to restricting thought. “By curtailing frivolous and “fighting” words, the Party seeks to narrow the range of thought altogether, such that eventually, thoughtcrime will be literally impossible.” The Patriot Act, NSA spying program, and the CIA’s own spying program are quite ominous. Social media was not designed for you; it is a control structure to direct culture. What Vault 7 leaks show us extends beyond surveillance; it implies subversion on a personalized scale. This year more than ever, we have noticed a rise in moral revisionists fighting for “social justice.” Preaching these philosophies is always done with pure intentions, but serves to detract from discussion about issues facing subcultures.

Of course, we can have this debate with policy to provide an example of the State’s hypocrisy. Social inequality starts with failing public education. School choice is a pragmatic solution towards increasing educational opportunity for everyone. It allows bad schools to fail and successful schools to succeed. It prepares a new system centered around individual educators, while expanding parental involvement and oversight of their child’s education. Clinton had supported choice among public education in the mid ‘90s, but abandoned her stance in fear of losing union votes. Choice allows educators to determine curriculum, not bureaucrats. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Knowledge is power, yet we withhold it from oppressed communities that need it most. 76-percent of African American and Hispanic families support school choice in some form, but the union chooses to hurt these communities.

Regardless of your attitude towards my argument, understand that I acknowledge Trump is an a-hole. That doesn’t necessarily make him wrong, though. The Griffin followed convention, spreading misinformation to readers this past election. It is not that facts are hardly ever true, but that the media has changed the word ‘fact’ to absorb the meaning of ‘opinion.’

It’s not surprising a group of liberal women view Trump with disdain, but I could not vote for Clinton in good conscience. I have been preached at and told to have concern over Trump’s language, yet to ignore the actions Clinton has taken in her tainted legal career. Talk about the ‘thought police.’ Actions will always speak louder than words.

Hillary rigged the primary election this year against Bernie Sanders. I don’t love Bernie, but it should be noted his rise to power grew from anti-establishment rhetoric. I’d like to ask him how his three mansions and 13-percent tax rate feels. In conclusion, 1984 seems to have placed Trump directly into the story. ”The two minutes hate” is a daily event that summarizes today’s media.

“The face of Emmanuel Goldstein, the Enemy of the People, had flashed onto the screen. There were hisses here and there among the audience … Goldstein was delivering his usual venomous attack upon the doctrines of the Party — an attack so exaggerated and perverse that a child should have been able to see through it, and yet just plausible enough to fill one with an alarmed feeling that other people, less level-headed than oneself, might be taken in by it.”

You don’t want to be level-headed in that world. We lit a molotov, pointing towards Washington.

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