Approximately 40% of this country, give or take, is just fine with the president saying that black is white on Monday, and that white is black on Tuesday, and then insisting on Wednesday that he never said black was white or white was black. An undetermined portion of that group will not notice the contradictory nature of the president’s statements; another portion simply won’t care about those contradictions; another portion will applaud the contradictions for being contradictory. This is the psychology that makes totalitarianism possible.
Unsurprisingly, the policy of separating children from their parents has proven unbearably cruel in practice. Not everybody within the Republican Party or even the administration itself is still willing to defend its own handiwork. And so the administration’s public explanation of this policy toggles between three mutually exclusive positions.One, the policy exists and is good (“It was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry. Period,” says Stephen Miller.) Two, the policy does not exist. (“We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period,” insistsSecretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.) And third, the policy does exist, and is bad, and the Democrats are to blame (“I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law — that’s their law,” declared President Trump.)
A recent poll finds the public opposed to child separation by a 56/37 percent margin, but Republicans somewhat in favor (46/32 percent). Another finds even more stark differences — the public opposes family separation by a 66/27 percent margin, but Republicans favor it, 55/35 percent.
'The truth, please, Winston. YOUR truth. Tell me what you think you remember.' 'I remember that until only a week before I was arrested, we were not at war with Eastasia at all. We were in alliance with them. The war was against Eurasia. That had lasted for four years. Before that----' O'Brien stopped him with a movement of the hand. 'Another example,' he said. 'Some years ago you had a very serious delusion indeed. You believed that three men, three one-time Party members named Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford--men who were executed for treachery and sabotage after making the fullest possible confession--were not guilty of the crimes they were charged with. You believed that you had seen unmistakable documentary evidence proving that their confessions were false. There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.' An oblong slip of newspaper had appeared between O'Brien's fingers. For perhaps five seconds it was within the angle of Winston's vision. It was a photograph, and there was no question of its identity. It was THE photograph. It was another copy of the photograph of Jones, Aaronson, and Rutherford at the party function in New York, which he had chanced upon eleven years ago and promptly destroyed. For only an instant it was before his eyes, then it was out of sight again. But he had seen it, unquestionably he had seen it! He made a desperate, agonizing effort to wrench the top half of his body free. It was impossible to move so much as a centimetre in any direction. For the moment he had even forgotten the dial. All he wanted was to hold the photograph in his fingers again, or at least to see it. 'It exists!' he cried. 'No,' said O'Brien. He stepped across the room. There was a memory hole in the opposite wall. O'Brien lifted the grating. Unseen, the frail slip of paper was whirling away on the current of warm air; it was vanishing in a flash of flame. O'Brien turned away from the wall. 'Ashes,' he said. 'Not even identifiable ashes. Dust. It does not exist. It never existed.' 'But it did exist! It does exist! It exists in memory. I remember it. You remember it.' 'I do not remember it,' said O'Brien.