Yes, Mitt has made it clear that he has mastered the art of Doublespeak. You may have heard in the secondary news market that Mitt has shaken the Etch-a-Sketch again and now promises that he will not work to repeal or modify any Abortion Laws. But that’s not the good news. The good news is that we have a wonderful statement on which to exercise our critical thinking skills.
First, let’s take a moment and consider the concept of Doublespeak. Although most people might point to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four as the origin of this concept, it actually is not in that book; rather, Orwell references “Doublethink” and “Newspeak.” What is important to remember about all three of these terms is that they are meant to obscure, mislead, and perpetuate untruths. Orwell writes in Nineteen Eighty-Four:
The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies.
I’m sure we can recall numerous examples of Doublespeak in politics, but the subject here is one easily misleading statement by a candidate for President of the United States.
When being interviewed by the Des Moines Register, Romney was asked:
Do you intend to pursue any legislation specifically regarding abortion?
and Romney answered
There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.
Does that sound like Romney has flipped on abortion? Not if you take a moment and realize what was actually said. The first problem is “legislation.” Romney equivocates that anti-abortion Supreme Court justices wouldn’t be pursued or even that Executive Orders wouldn’t be used to control or eliminate abortion rights in the country. And even then, he only addresses existent legislation since he could hardly be familiar with future legislation. Even the many abortion-related bills currently in congress can meet the qualification of being unfamiliar: after all, if Mitt says they were not familiar to him when he made the statement, who is going to impugn the character of such a single-minded leader? For that matter, if a good opportunity presented itself suddenly to abolish abortion, even if it wasn’t on the official Mitt Romney agenda, he didn’t say he wouldn’t go along with it.
Mitt’s statement about abortion is meaningless and anyone who thinks Mitt has abandoned the pro-life position of the Republican Party is falling for the the lies and equivocations that Mitt Romney does so well.