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I had to check my calendar yesterday to make sure the year is still 2008. From all that’s going on in the world of presidential politics, I would have sworn it was 1984, George Orwell’s 1984. Let me explain.

The presidential candidate of the party that has held the White House for the last 8 years is now running as the candidate of “change.”

This same candidate, who has been in Washington, D.C. for 28 years, is portraying himself as the outsider who is going to change the way business is done in Washington.

His campaign is run almost exclusively by lobbyists, but yet he is going to tell the lobbyists to take a hike, that their days of influence in D.C. are over.

He runs as a candidate who will eliminate earmarks, who will veto any legislation that contains earmarks and “make famous” the authors of such legislation. Yet his running mate was the Governor of the state that received more earmark dollars per capita than any state in the Union.

He claims that he is a “maverick” who goes against his party, yet he has cast votes which support the president from that same party over 90% of the time.

He labels his opponent as an “elitist”, yet he owns so many homes he has lost count, and his wife spends $300,000 for a dress to wear to his party’s convention.

He calls his opponent a “flip-flopper”, yet he has changed his own position on virtually every major issue of the campaign in the last year.

He decries negative ads and says he wants to run a “respectful” campaign, yet he constantly attacks his opponent’s patriotism and love of country, even accusing his opponent of wanting to see his country lose a war just so he can win an election.

He himself was the victim of a smear campaign 8 years ago, yet he has hired the same people who ran that campaign against him to run his own campaign and smear his opponent.

He says he “hates war”, but within 3 months of 9/11 he was ready to expand the war on terror beyond Afghanistan, saying “Next stop, Baghdad.” He has also said he “doesn’t disagree” with reinstatement of a military draft, presumably to fight the “more wars” he has said are yet to come.

Here is how Orwell described what he called “doublethink”:

“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

Yup, yup, sounds like John McCain to me.

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