Pardon Me? Dinesh D'Souza's "Freedom" Plays Into Two-Party Dysfunction
The Two Minutes Hate is from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
It's the two minutes every day during which members of the ruling English Socialist Party express their hatred for enemies of "the Party," most notably Emmanuel Goldstein.
It's a cult-like ritual used to disable the people's capacity for critical thought, and whip them up into a terrifying, mob-like, fascistic uniformity of unquestioning devotion to the party.
The object of the people's hatred, served up for them on a platter to hate, becomes a lightning rod for their frustrations, and for their attention, drawing it away from the manifest destructiveness of a tyrannical and corrupt state.
George Orwell perceived what was going on in the 1940s, but political parties still use this exploit today.
Donald Trump announced Thursday that he would be pardoning Dinesh D'Souza, who "pleaded guilty in federal court in May 2014 to making an illegal campaign contribution to the 2012 U.S. Senate campaign of Wendy Long."
Democrats were enraged by the obviously politically-motivated pardon of a prolific conservative polemicist.
So they took to Twitter like:
The pardon of Dinesh D'Souza is just as much red meat for the Democrats to have their Two Minutes Hate as it is for the Republicans to gloat. Both sides are fed by the same system of misdirection and unquestioning uniformity.
Meanwhile the serious and urgent discussions of the polity are left unspoken. Amazingly enough, it seems Democrats would rather trade blows with Donald Trump in the arena of legal technicalities and petty outrages, than mount a principled opposition to his administration for its worst excesses:
Waging an undefined, never-ending war overseas with a blank check from Congress, increasing drone strikes in the Middle East, expanding the land and air war in Afghanistan, continuing to spend millions of American dollars on Asia's problems in Korea, running up the nation's debts, increasing taxes on middle class tax payers...
The list could go on and on.
But these aren't the winning issues – on which Democrats could actually take back Congress this November – that Democrats want to talk about. They seem frozen into a stance of willful irrelevance, the same willful irrelevance that broke the Republican Party in 2016 and allowed Trump to barge in and take over in the first place.
It may be that too many Democrats in the chattering classes have simply painted themselves into a corner by letting so many of these same excesses slide under the presidency of Barack Obama.
Now they have no credibility to challenge Trump on these pressing issues. The willingness, out of partisan conformity, to overlook the misdeeds of their own party leadership, has compromised their ability to mount an effective opposition. So they float around with aimless discontent and readily sink their teeth into whatever hashtag the political media machine is chumming up Twitter with today.
At least that's the way I see it.