Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My nominee for worst US VP ever is Dick Cheney, and he has very little competition. That is largely because until recently, vice-presidents did very little. If you go back to Jefferson’s first vice-president, you can say that Aaron Burr was a bad man, killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel and plotting to establish a separate country in the western territories. But he didn’t do that while he was vice-president. Spiro Agnew was forced to resign for his actions as Governor of Maryland before he became vice-president under Nixon. So Cheney has very few competitors.
Cheney selected himself as George W. Bush’s running mate, and he arranged for Bush to be surrounded by other Neocons like himself, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Paul Wolfowitz, who advocated attacking Iraq. We don’t know if Bush decided himself to invade Iraq or whether he was persuaded by Cheney and others. Perhaps we will never know. We do know that Bush was a better governor than he was president, and that Bush was one of the worst presidents ever. I rank him number one. Cheney taught Bush how to be president, and the US paid a very high price for those teachings. That is why I rate Dick Cheney as the worst VP in US history.
newspeak_2 (Photo credit: krisis magazine)
At the conclusion of 1984, George Orwell devoted 12 pages to the principles of Newspeak, a language and a vocabulary designed to prevent thoughts considered dangerous by the regime of Big Brother. If there were no words to express a thought, then the masses could not hold those thoughts. Orwell predicted that full implementation of Newspeak would occur by 2050. We will reach the halfway point between 1984 and 2050 in just four years, in 2017. The Republican Party has their own version of Newspeak which I call GOPspeak.
The first instance of GOPspeak that I can remember specifically was Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” speech. Of course, he was a crook and worse and was forced to resign not long after his vice-president, Spiro Agnew, was forced to resign for similar reasons. First time in our history that occurred.
On a lighter note, there was Christine O’Donnell‘s “I am not a witch” speech in 2010. That charge was never conclusively proved or disproved. In colonial times, suspected witches were subjected to a form of water torture by being tied to a dunking stool and then submerged in a pool of water. That practice was cruel and fell out of favor. Now we use the more humane form of water torture called water-boarding.
The 2012 Mitt Romney campaign lied 24/7 claiming that it would not be limited by facts. And Mitt still doesn’t understand why he lost. The only thing that you can be sure of when a Republican uses GOPspeak is that he/she means the opposite of what those words meant until recently. Eventually, if the voters and the media allow GOPspeak to continue, then GOPspeak may become Newspeak in fact. That is a result we must work to prevent if we wish to preserve democracy in the US.
Please see Republican newspeak