In Which Time Magazine Reports That We Have Always Been at War with Eastasia

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Time magazine has published a remarkable piece, one which might leave more than a few sensible observers gobsmacked. It is a piece which acknowledges all manner of jiggering with this last election, but (quite naturally) stops shy of saying that “we delivered millions of fake ballots in the middle of the night.” They don’t say anything like that.

Some articles cannot just be dismissed.
They should be reviewed carefully, calmly, and in a judicious frame of mind.

But what they DO acknowledge, right out in the open, is what a number of us have been pointing to all along, earning us the jibes commonly reserved for nutcases, conspiracy theorists, die-harders, and manufacturers of really swell pillows.

The article in question was entitled “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election.” And when you read through the article, what is it that comes wafting off those words, like heat radiating from a wood stove? Why, it is that serene sense of the writer’s status as one of the anointed ones, thus making the article entitled in both senses of that word. Self-congratulation permeates the piece, the way a bad gravy permeates a rancid stew.

Don’t take my word for it. Let me go get some tongs, and show you a sample:

That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream—a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it.

Time magazine, “We Have Always Been at War with Eastasia,” 2021

Kind of gives you a warm feeling in your throat, doesn’t it? Like the way you feel right before tossing your cookies. There are people out there protecting us all by influencing perceptions, changing rules and laws, steering media coverage, and controlling the flow of information. I just love it when the champions of uplift fortify our elections like this!

So seriously, what is going on? What I would like to do here is point to what I believe their strategy must be in publishing this particular piece of impudent effrontery. I don’t believe that this is carelessness, or thoughtless boasting. This article is actually the next piece in the broader strategy that is actually being described in the article. The article acknowledges that there was a widespread plan to oust Trump, and this article is plainly and clearly part of that plan. What do I mean?

What happened in this last election was widespread enough, flagrant enough, and obvious enough that it cannot really be kept out of the hands of competent historians. At some point in the foreseeable future, a definitive and honest account really will be written, and this article is designed to have a “proper and approved” narrative lined up beforehand. “We have always acknowledged, and quite openly, that we did thus and such. Jeffrey T. Morehouse’s book is yesterday’s newspaper. Yawn.”

“The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”

George Orwell, 1984

Let’s talk some specifics, shall we?

Cowed by a Summer of Violence

The article takes the standard progressive line that the protest at the Capitol was an unprecedented insurrection of anti-democratic fervor, and was an existential threat to our customs and way of life (which the clamjamfry that invaded the Capitol in fact was). But the article also takes this last summer of violence across many American cities right in stride. When a progressive mob burns things down, it is because “their voices were not being heard.” When alt-righters do anything comparable, they are the scum off the top of a right wing sewage lagoon.

In the meantime, civilized people, like those of us here at Mablog, believe that everything that is objectionable is actually objectionable. A radical concept, I know.

Get a load of these comments from the article.

. . . inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests—in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.

Time magazine, “Fahrenheit 451,” 2021

Inspired by, eh? Our mercantile class was inspired by the sight of all those businesses burning down? The merchants of the Chamber of Commerce, men who have the kind of backbone found in a baker’s dozen of chocolate eclairs, a whole box of them, looked at what was going to happen to their businesses if Trump won, and they caved.

The summer’s racial-justice protests had sent a signal to business owners too: the potential for economy-disrupting civil disorder.

Time magazine “Catch-22,” 2021

What do we mean by “sent a signal?” “That’s a nice little business district you have there. Be a shame if anything happened to it.” Does Time magazine think we have never been to the movies? If the left does it, it is economy-disrupting people power.

The summer uprising had shown that people power could have a massive impact. Activists began preparing to reprise the demonstrations if Trump tried to steal the election.

Time magazine, “Peter Pan,” 2021

Destroying multiple small businesses that had nothing whatever to do with whatever it was that “that cop” did is “people power.” Invading the Capitol is not people power, you moron. How many times do we have to explain this?

Does anybody seriously think that those bad actors who were poised to riot if Trump “stole” the election would have all stayed peacefully at home if he actually won it fair and square? Welcome to the big city, Skippy.

The racial-justice uprising sparked by George Floyd’s killing in May was not primarily a political movement. The organizers who helped lead it wanted to harness its momentum for the election without allowing it to be co-opted by politicians.

Time magazine, “Brave New World,” 2021

They wanted to harness the “momentum” of billions of dollars worth of property destruction, albeit “sometimes destructive,” while at the same time abominating the mostly peaceful invasion of the Capitol. The mobbing of Capitol was mostly peaceful, wasn’t it? Sure, it was “sometimes destructive,” but one must learn to take a few roughs with the smooth.

There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans.

Time magazine, “The Wizard of Oz,” 2021

But remember—these “curtailed” protests were all waiting in the wings. What are you people complaining about? They didn’t actually shoot the gun. Sure, it was loaded, cocked, and pressed against the temple of the Chamber of Commerce, but if the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t like direct democracy, what can you do? The article referred to them as “business titans,” neglecting to say that they were business titans on their knees, saying, “Please, mister. I’ve got a wife and kids.””

So Then There Was All the Massive Censorship

Big Tech were already being obnoxious, but then the busypants activists got onto their case, and urged them to see that their patriotic duty was to become even more obnoxious than that. One lady . . .

“. . . piloted a nameless, secret project, which she has never before publicly discussed, that tracked disinformation online and tried to figure out how to combat it.”

Time magazine, “Animal Farm,” 2021

Ah, yes. That old enemy, disinformation. How are we supposed to build our utopian paradise when miscreants are running around dissing the information?

You see, the progressives discovered that “engaging with toxic content only made it worse.“ When you engage with those toxicity mongers, you discover that some of them know how to debate, and then it turns out that they might even have a point, and when the general populace discovers that they might have a reasonable point, what will the harvest be?

The fault lies in that pesky word disinformation. It is a word that encompasses many errors, many errors indeed. On the one end might be a set of viral video clips encouraging concerned parents to have their toddlers take a tea spoon of laundry bleach every night to combat rickets, and on the other end we have the far more serious disinformation being promulgated by the heirs of Bastiat, which is the unsourced claim that you can’t spend what you don’t have. Speaking for myself, I would be willing to have a debate over whether Big Tech could take down the former without abusing our liberties, while it seems to me that to cheerfully throw the latter into the same big box called “disinformation” is somewhat troubling. You know. Some of us still pine for the old freedoms.

The solution, she concluded, was to pressure platforms to enforce their rules, both by removing content or accounts that spread disinformation and by more aggressively policing it in the first place.

Time magazine, “Through the Looking Glass,” 2021

These activists were all about “more rigorous rules and enforcement,” and so the result was that Big Tech “were tagging things and taking them down.” They were taking down the hazards of alternative viewpoints, the cancer of dissent, the poisonous rot that some call “hearing the other side out,” and the toxic mix that results when fathers stay faithful to their wives and come home every night. That last mentioned radioactive mess is called the patriarchy or white supremacy. Take your pick, depending on which feeling got offended, and what kind of argument you are losing.

The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted.

Time magazine, “Pride and Prejudice, and Zombies,” 2021

So do not dare to think that all this was dedicated to “winning the vote.” No. no! Heaven forfend! They were just wanting to ensure that it would be “free and fair.” The means for doing this this, remember, was by influencing perceptions, changing rules and laws, steering media coverage, and controlling the flow of information. The fact that all this free and fair manipulation won them the actual election was just a bonus. A totally unexpected by-product. No one was more surprised than they.

But I think they may have made a mistake when they included “credible” in their list of desiderata. That is because, and I hesitate to point this out, nothing about this is credible. We can all see what they are doing, you know.

You know, if we ever get back to the point where we are allowed to have an actual political debate, and I were invited to it, and I am just daydreaming here, I would like to be allowed to ask a question. That question would be something like “by what standard do you distinguish political disagreements that must be censored, and political disagreements that need not be?”

Last Minute Rule Changes

The article wants to “celebrate the democratic process that resulted in Trump’s ouster.” They wanted to do this because in their calculus the more ballots you have mounded up, the more democracy must have happened. They don’t really care where those ballots came from, as long as they are here now, and as long as they voted for the candidate who was “for democracy,” properly defined, by the authorities, who were properly vetted.

In the end, nearly half the electorate cast ballots by mail in 2020, practically a revolution in how people vote. About a quarter voted early in person. Only a quarter of voters cast their ballots the traditional way: in person on Election Day.

Time magazine, “Jabberwocky,” 2021

So we were heading into the most hotly contested election in living memory, and so they decided that this was the moment that we should introduce a massive shift in how people vote. New systems, new procedures, new rules. What could go wrong? Meanwhile, COVID was doing its part for Biden by making the normal procedures, the ones with all the old school safeguards, a risky business. “Normal methods of voting were no longer safe for voters or the mostly elderly volunteers who normally staff polling places.”

Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears.

Time magazine, “The Hunger Games,” 2021

Keep in mind, of course, that in their book voter ID laws are the same thing as voter suppression. So fighting off “voter suppression lawsuits” is actually their name for their efforts to make it easier to cheat at a voting station. Think about it for a minute. They are against voter ID because it makes it harder for them to get power, and they are for national ID, and vaccination cards, and all such, because it makes it easier to wield power. We should keep looking until we find the common thread here.

And even though they got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time, they helpfully explained that “mail-in votes weren’t susceptible to fraud.” That’s a relief! But if they wanted us to feel genuinely reassured, they should have said that “mail-in votes weren’t susceptible to fraud in the least.” Everybody knows that cheating is not possible in hastily assembled, long distance voting systems.


It is the story of an unprecedented, creative and determined campaign whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster. “Every attempt to interfere with the proper outcome of the election was defeated,” says Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan rule-of-law advocacy group. “But it’s massively important for the country to understand that it didn’t happen accidentally. The system didn’t work magically. Democracy is not self-executing.”

Time magazine, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” 2021

I want you to savor those words—”interfere with the proper outcome of the election.” The proper outcome was so important. And it didn’t happen automatically or accidentally. Elections don’t rig themselves, people.

This whole thing is the electoral equivalent of that general in Vietnam who famously said that they had to destroy the village in order to save it. The same kind of mentality is in evidence here.

So let me come back and quote the first thing I quoted from the article, only this time I will alter just a handful of words. It is not dishonest for me to alter words from their article in this way because I am only doing it because a water main broke.

That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election [hidden, because] it sounds like a paranoid fever dream—a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not [saving] the election; they were [rigging] it.

Time magazine, “Reforming Marriage,” 2021, and edits are mine

I change none of the premises, but I have altered the conclusion—in order to bring it into line with those actual premises. I do this because in ordinary math it is not the case that influenced perceptions + changed rules and laws + steered media coverage + controlled information flow = free and fair elections! “Yay! We have been saved! From ourselves!”

Not only did these people rig the election, they are even now arranging the ongoing information flow in such a way as to make it obvious that we should be giving them all medals. For saving us all. From ourselves.

It is also apparent to me that a whole bunch of them really believe this farrago of nonsense, this gallimaufry of pure thoughts. They actually believe that they were saving democracy by ensuring “the right outcomes.” But mark it, and mark it well. If someone actually believes that their changing, steering, controlling, and influencing of “all the things” is how you save democracy, do you think they might be capable of opening their mouth a little bit wider and swallowing outright voter fraud as a means of saving democracy also? Why, yes, yes I do. I don’t think there is any limit to the gullibility of most of them, or to the wickedness of the rest of them.

Postscript: Waiting for the Flash Point

A time of sober reflection on these realities should bring you to one pretty stark conclusion. Forget this administration. This whole establishment is illegitimate. How illegitimate? Well, pretty illegitimate. These things are hard to quantify, but this establishment is as illegitimate as the red-headed baby of a two-dollar hooker in a seaport town nine months after the fleet put out to sea again. Like I said, that is pretty illegitimate.

“Trump has made it clear that this will not be a fair election, and that he will reject anything but his own re-election as ‘fake’ and rigged,” he wrote. “On Nov. 3, should the media report otherwise, he will use the right-wing information system to establish his narrative and incite his supporters to protest.”

Time magazine, “Snow White and the 3 Stooges,” 2021

Trump was clearly going to cheat, and so we cheated first in order to save the game from cheating. Had we not cheated, the game might have been won by cheaters.

The article also mentioned the help of “Trump-skeptical Republicans appalled by his attacks on democracy.” What they meant to say was that a number of Republicans were appalled by Trump’s assault on good manners. If they wanted to concern themselves with attacks on democracy, they would have to look elsewhere. I hear Time magazine has a recent article on that.

Democracy won in the end. The will of the people prevailed.

Time magazine, “The Gettysburg Address,” 2021

Sure it did. I have said many times over that all our cultural battles are battles over who controls the dictionary. And this statement above it absolutely true—if they are allowed to define “democracy,” “won,” “will,” and “people.”

In the header above,I say that we are waiting for the flashpoint. That will be what happens if all this ends with a bang. But it could end with a whimper—where everything just comes unstuck. That might happen too, because things are coming unstuck as we speak.

Either way it goes, Christians can best prepare themselves for an unknown future by staying clear in their minds about a known past, and trusting in a known Christ. The one advantage we have on this memory hole business is that certain gospel truths don’t fit down it. If you cling to those, you won’t fit either.