Thanks to Trump, Orwell's 70-year-old classic is a bestseller again.
Tromp-tromp-tromp — troops are marching to battles. Boom-boom-boom — bombs are blowing up communities. Whoooosh — poisonous gas is being released.
Forget Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan — this is Trump’s War.
Our bellicose commander in chief is at war in the homeland, deploying his troops to attack everything from our public schools to the EPA, dropping executive order bombs on Muslim communities and the Mexican border.
He’s spewing poisonous tweets of bigotry and right-wing bile at the media, scientists, inner cities, “illegal voters,” Meryl Streep, diplomats, Democrats, and people who use real facts.
Basically, Trump is at war with everyone who doesn’t agree with him — in short, with the majority of Americans. And you thought Nixon had a long enemies list!
Yet Trump’s most destructive assault so far hasn’t targeted any one group, but instead an essential and existential concept: truth. Bluntly put, he believes that truth is whatever he says it is, and that he can change it tomorrow.
Years ago, in a futuristic novel, the author wrote about the rise of a tyrannical regime that ruled by indoctrinating the masses to accept the perverse notion of capricious truth. It was George Orwell’s 1984, which depicted a dystopia he named Oceania.
There, the public had been inculcated to believe that reality is not “something objective, external, existing in its own right.” Rather, “whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.”
Now, in 2017, we live in Trumplandia — with a delusional leader of a plutocratic party trying to redefine reality with “alternative facts,” fake news, and a blitzkrieg of Orwellian “Newspeak.”
But resistance to Trumpism is already surging. Not least, Orwell’s 70-year-old book has become a bestseller again — thanks to Trump resisters seeking… you know, the truth.
OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also the editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. Distributed by OtherWords.org.