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8 Bumps

Isn't DOMA a contemporary example of "Doublespeak"?

Do you remember Orwell's book 1984? Among its many concepts were the terms "Doublethink", which is defined here:  

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of doublethink he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. The process has to be conscious, or it would not be carried out with sufficient precision, but it also has to be unconscious, or it would bring with it a feeling of falsity and hence of guilt.

and "Newspeak", in which language concepts changed to allow government control of how people think.  For example, the word "free" lost all meanings except in the sense of "no longer having"--for example, a dog can be free of fleas, or a garden free of weeds, but the concept of "free" no longer was used for thought or intellect.  The concepts of "Doublethink" and "Newspeak" were designed to shape how the public perceived their world and events to shape their views.

After the book was published, someone combined those words to invent a new one, "Doublespeak", which means ambiguous language or euphemisms, meant to deceive or confuse.  I think that DOMA is a perfect example of "Doublespeak" because the Defense of Marriage Act does not defend marriage, but was designed to exclude certain members of our society from partaking in it and enjoying the benefits of marriage.

What do you think?  Do you agree or disagree that DOMA is a misrepresentation of what it claims to be?  Do you agree that it is Doublespeak?

*for those who are interested, I copied the definition of "Doublethink" and paraphrased the concept of "Newspeak" from this website.

Answer Question

Asked by jsbenkert at 4:48 PM on Apr. 18, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • i agree completely . There are plenty of euphemisms used to try to sell political strategies, making something sound attractive when it isn't at all what it sounds when examined closely . The ' Fair Tax ' is one example . It is an overflow , so to speak, from commercial advertising and marketing techniques . VAT was sold to Canadians as a ' Good Tax ', would you believe ! Nafta and so-called ' Free Trade ' were sold in a similar ways . I am amazed that people fall for these sales tricks , but they do.

    Answer by janet116 at 5:29 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • I agree.It is 'double speak'. It is a prejudicial effort by certain individuals and groups who hypocritically say they have the best interests of marriage at heart.

    Answer by minnesotanice at 6:35 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • I agree! I think it's a perfect example. But of course the argument would be that homosexual unions, for example, are a threat to the 'institution of marriage'. I still don't quite understand that, but that's me. What I think is another appropriate example of doublethink is this idea that homosexual marriages are a threat to the institution of marriage, but adultery isn't. Just saying . . .

    Answer by lytate95 at 6:44 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • The part of the book that reminds me of this gov't is the newspeak. They worked so hard in the book rewriting the history so that once is was rewritten, the old history never happened. (even though people had the memory of the old history). That is the type of political mumbo-jumbo that seems to be going on at times. If we say a group is racist, then it is racist. It doesn't matter what the experience is or what the memory is. This is the new reality. That ability to just erase a known fact is what bothers me. How do you get people to just blindly follow without out questioning? How do you get people do ignore the urge to say "No, wait, that isn't right." and just immediately talk the new talk? I don't get it at all.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 7:00 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • Exactly, lytate! I don't understand how same-sex marriage in any way threatens other marriages, but that's what the DOMA is trying to claim. I'm glad it's being challenged again. Hopefully we will see the end of the "Defense of Marriage Act" within the next couple of years. I don't know how the Religious Right ever got it through in the first place. It seems so unconstitutional.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 8:04 PM on Apr. 18, 2011

  • DOMA is just an excuse for those with too much time and too many issues to make their way into others' bedrooms. What another couple does in no way interferes with or invalidates my marriage unless my husband or I are cheating. And this is so not about cheating, but about issues and obsessions with all things gay.

    Answer by sherriet at 2:22 AM on Apr. 19, 2011

  • I totally agree!


    Answer by older at 9:13 AM on Apr. 19, 2011

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