The left’s fervent worship of the progressive myth is driving a new assault on factual truth.
It used to be that American political culture exposed and rejected hypocrisy consistently, assuming such exposure was sufficient to hold those propagating it accountable.
Accordingly, elected officials of both parties would often engage in explanatory or apologetic gymnastics to avoid the claim of hypocrisy. But today, certain officials are completely unbowed to claims of hypocrisy.
There is no doubt that the left embraces collectivism at the expense of individualism. The devotion to this principle is so strong that worship of secular government allows inconvenient truths to be termed falsehoods and convenient falsehoods to be called facts. This is all in the cause of protecting the power of the one institution the left believes capable of creating utopia – government.
Fact, truth, justice, and inclusion are all means to justify the ends to the benefit of the state. The left pursues these means through expressions of outrage and anger to manipulate the masses towards the achievement of their utopian aims.
And so, we witnessed government step aside during summer riots of 2020, resulting in close to $2 billion of property damage and multiple deaths. Now, those who enabled such chaos and destruction support vigorous action and pre-trial detention for those charged in the January 6 riot in Washington, D.C.
This is clear evidence that there’s no longer consistency in application of our laws. Where you do find consistency, however, is wherever the left is applying the law with a purpose of gaining and accumulating power. Violence is qualified by the political left and their propagandists in the mainstream news media in the name of any social justice cause they deem appropriate. Injury to people and property in support of the left’s narrative to gain authority is justified, while actions challenging the left’s authority generate a harsh and vigorous response.
During the Cold War, Marlena Pavlos-Hackney fled to the United States from behind the Iron Curtain to avoid totalitarian government. In 2020, she ran smack dab into Michigan’s despotic Attorney General Dana Nessel. Pavlos-Hackney had kept her restaurant open despite Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s orders to close such eating establishments.
Nessel was tipped off that Pavolos-Hackney was scheduled to appear on national TV and criticize the actions of the state and Nessel’s authority, thus engaging in behavior heretical to the new left.
After learning Hackney-Pavlos was going to appear on Tucker Carlson Tonight, Nessel ordered her assistant to contact the state police and have the restaurant owner “picked up before she goes on [the show].”
“I hope she gets the full 93 days [in jail] for this,” added the attorney general while making inquiry if a lengthier sentence was available.
Nessel justified her aggressive concerns on these grounds stating that Pavlos-Hackney’s conduct was “dangerous” and “may have exposed dozens of diners and employees to the virus.”
So far, the State of Michigan claims one of the restaurant’s customers tested positive in early 2021, but refuses to indicate how that customer contracted the virus.
Let’s consider the hypocrisy behind Nessel’s outrage about Marlena Pavlos-Hackney. During the pandemic, Nessel refused to criticize her political ally, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who violated her own health and safety orders by marching in a Black Lives Matters protest. Furthermore, Nessel’s own conduct bears examination because she threatened criminal investigation of anyone who took action through proper legal channels to challenge the integrity of the management of the 2020 election.
And now today we have the Pennsylvania Department of State threatening local election officials who choose to participate in a legislative audit of the election. The Department issued a directive on July 9, demanding boards of elections refuse any third-party access to examining the election “system or system components.”
In context, the Pennsylvania Department of State, whose only power to manage elections comes through authority granted to it by the state legislature, is ordering local election officials to refuse cooperation with the state legislature.
“Such access by third parties undermines chain of custody requirements and strict access limitations…jeopard[izing] the security and integrity of the systems” came the official word.
Such claims are particularly stunning for two reasons.
First, the order violates a key requirement that elections must be transparent in order to be free and fair. Pennsylvania’s unelected secretary of state is denying the elected leaders of the state access to election information.
Second, the Department entered into an unprecedented contract with the private nonprofit organization Rock the Vote, allowing the group front-end access to Pennsylvania’s electronic poll books during the 2020 election. Rock the Vote, in turn, licensed that access to more than 60 politically-left activist organizations who were able to electronically manipulate voter registration rolls before and during the election.
Taken together, the Pennsylvania Secretary of State is allowing private leftist organizations improper electronic access to sensitive personal data while denying access to the people’s representatives.
Elected officials often engage in hypocrisy such as these cases. It seems to be a part of the human condition.
We are now, however, witnessing the left’s evolution past hypocrisy to doublespeak, born of doublethink. George Orwell defines doublethink in 1984 as “holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting them both.”
This can only be accomplished if truth is atomized in relativism such that the only source of present relevant truth is the state, and the truth is thereby malleable by the state to achieve its aim of “progress.”
Accordingly, we now have intolerance in the name of tolerance, cultural hegemony in the cause of diversity, and an assault upon those who criticize government in the cause of liberty. The ends justify the means, and any excessive application of the power of the state is justified because the state is the only arbiter of truth and fact.
Any nation desiring the full expression of individual liberty premised on the recognition of the intrinsic value of all persons must be populated by individuals willing to fight to protect the freedom of those with whom they disagree.
America will only reach the fullness of her “audacious claims” if Americans love freedom more than they hate political opponents. The path to totalitarianism is always paved by trading freedoms for political expediency, leading the populace (which holds the true power in our Constitutional Republic) to become the handmaidens of hypocritical public officials.
Phill D. Kline is the director of the nation’s leading election integrity watchdog group, the Amistad Project, the former Attorney General of Kansas, and a law professor at Liberty University.