It’s “1984,” and we are living in schizophrenic times. Orwellian times. The best of times, but yet the worst.
Times where we demand the truth while reveling in our lies. Times of great material gain but even greater moral loss. Times of calling good evil and evil good; bitter sweet and sweet bitter. Times of the “tolerant” not tolerating what they find intolerable.
These are times of significant technological advancement and, yet, shocking mental decline. Times when Silicon Valley says it honors free speech while censoring all speech it says should not be free. Times where champions of diversity and inclusion exclude all who dare express views they believe are too diverse. Times where politicians who claim to be proponents of “fairness for all” push legislation that is all but fair.
These are times when the Colorado Civil Rights Commission denies an artist the right to craft art consistent with his moral convictions and civil rights. Times when colleges and universities that purport to teach communication and grammar, punish students for communicating with proper grammar.
These are times when Jews such as Dennis Prager, David Horowitz and Ben Shapiro are shunned and banned by those who claim to stand against ghettos and gulags. Times when Candace Owens, a Black woman, is heckled out of a restaurant by a bunch of White students chanting, “Down with White supremacy.”
These are times when those who claim to champion democracy boycott anyone who dares to participate in the democratic process in a manner they find undemocratic. Times when Dr. Seuss is canceled while Drag Queen Story Hours are all the rage.
These are times of cultural elites over the average man — oligarchs who no longer even attempt to hide their disdain for the self-evident truths upon which our country was founded. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of expression and freedom, in general, are now considered antiquated and inferior ideas that should be discarded and replaced by the capricious whims of a governing class that believes the unwashed masses are too foolish to manage their own freedom.
These high priests of government-as-God promote intolerance under the banner of “tolerance” and fascism under the flag of “freedom.” From our schools, where open debate is now prohibited, to our places of work, where ordinary Americans can lose their jobs simply for promoting the wrong political cause, no place is safe from the vindictive rage of their ever-watchful gaze.
For them, freedom means slavish adhesion to their dictates, and anyone who disagrees with their contrived notions of progress will be punished. Lady Justice is no longer blind but smiles as she tips her scales on the basis of color, class and politics.
It is shameless duplicity. It is self-refuting hypocrisy. It is literal nonsense on parade.
Any schoolboy can see this emperor is as naked as a jaybird. Their pretensions of tolerance are little more than window dressing for a brutal form of dominance that accepts no dissent. These champions of “freedom and peace” are only interested in tyranny and power.
We see them on our campuses, in our courts, in our culture and even in our churches, with their angry red faces of “love” shouting, “You must believe everything we believe!” No dissent, no differences and no diversity. It is the rule of the gang — a worldview of unquestioned and unchallenged power. Their bumper sticker is “Conquest,” not “Coexist.” They are interested only in lockstep compliance, not reasonable compromise.
To paraphrase Martin Niemoller: “First they came for Mr. Potato Head, and I said nothing because I cared little about plastic toys. Then they came for Peter Pan, and I said nothing because it was just a Disney cartoon. Then they came for Dr. Seuss, and I said nothing because I wasn’t Dr. Seuss. Then they came for my Bible and for me, and there was no one left to speak.”
Yes, these are trying times, difficult times, maybe even end-times.
An end to manners, politeness, courtesy, dignity and mutual respect. An end to tolerance under the banner of “tolerance.” An end to feminism under the banner of “MeToo.” An end to women’s rights under the banner of “trans-women’s rights.” An end to children’s rights under the banner of “the right to abort children.” An end to adults under the banner of “adulting.”
We find ourselves in a country that has lost its way, a country in which an infantilized culture of tweets and tantrums dominates the public sphere. We are immersed in a culture of yelling rather than listening, a society of demands rather than dignity. We live in a time of perpetual adolescence and grown-up children, not one of mature adults who have truly grown up.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery). His new book, “Grow Up: Life Isn’t Safe, But It’s Good,” is due for release on April 13, 2021.
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