Big Brother is Watching
March 6, 2017
Horrifying parallels between Donald Trump’s presidency and George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, have recently been brought to light due to recent controversies.
The first chapter of the iconic book ends with the slogan of the dystopian Party, “War is Peace / Freedom is Slavery / Ignorance is Strength.” In the novel (spoilers, obviously), the main character, Winston, works in the Ministry of Truth, which is a government facility that modifies the truth in the media to whatever the government sees fit.
Trump has recently been blasted for his distribution of alternative facts (also known as lies) throughout his campaign and presidency. For example, Trump claimed several times throughout his presidency that he did not support the controversial Iraq War, however, a video of him doing an interview stated the exact opposite. Also, Trump attempted to exaggerate the current state of the country by making bold statements such as “the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years,” which is just not true.
Frankly, I could literally have an entire encyclopedia filled with lies that he has attempted to use for the purpose of swaying public opinion. Trump undoubtedly attempts to enforce ideas, facts, and notions upon the American public that are simply not true.
Also, Trump is known for his infamous hatred of the media, even extending his hatred to the point of calling the media “the enemy of the American people.”
Now that is what I call taking things too far.
By preaching that the media, the source of commentary and knowledge about what occurs in the world, is “the enemy,” Trump advocates for the dystopian slogan of “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.” By not supporting outlets that offer criticism and opinions, Trump is suppressing the voices of Americans. By bashing sources that fact-check his lies, Trump endorses double-think (the acceptance of or mental capacity to accept contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time), which is another horrifying 1984 comparison.
We are nearing the 50th day of Trump’s presidency, and there are already countless, undebatable parallels between his actions and Orwell’s dystopia.
However, one parallel gives me hope.
In Orwell’s book, Winston has an epiphany; he realizes that a successful revolution against the Party could only occur if the plebs (the common, ignored, and dehumanized commoners) all rebelled. And with the looming electric current of inspiration of the Women’s March present, the modern-day plebs still stand a chance.