In 1984, George Orwell wrote, doublethink is “[t]o know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it… That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.”
It was not that long ago that Rand Paul said, “I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.”
What happened to the trial by jury? What happened to “no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court”?
Rand attempted to clear up his comments by posting a statement, “My comments last night left the mistaken impression that my position on drones had changed.
Let me be clear: it has not. Armed drones should not be used in normal crime situations. They only may only be considered in extraordinary, lethal situations where there is an ongoing, imminent threat… Fighting terrorism and capturing terrorists must be done while preserving our constitutional protections. This was demonstrated last week in Boston.”
If someone leaving a liquor store with $50 and a weapon is not a “normal crime situation,” then I don’t know what is. Further, door-to-door searches of people’s homes without a warrant, as happened in the Boston area during the week of April 15, can hardly be construed as “preserving our constitutional protections.”
Either Rand Paul is intentionally speaking out of both sides of his mouth, or he honestly believes that his contradictory statements are compatible and true. If it’s the latter, then he has fallen into a pattern of Orwellian doublethink.