COLUMN: Beginning of Trump presidency resembles Orwellian society

With “alternative facts” now appearing to be common procedure in the White House, there’s one book I hope students take the time to read: “1984.”

Never has George Orwell’s 1949 dystopian, 1984, seemed so ominously prophetic.

The novel depicts a fictional nation that does not know truth, only the propaganda of “The Party,” which controls the media and almost every aspect of civilians’ lives.

The Party uses “double-speak” and slogans such as “war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength,” and “Who controls the past controls the future and who controls the present controls the past.”

America has seen what a government like this might look like, coming less than a week into President Donald Trump’s administration.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer lied in his very first press briefing Saturday, arguing Trump’s inauguration was the most watched inauguration in U.S. History (Period!).

Trump’s senior counselor Kellyanne Conway defended the notion when she spoke to Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, saying Spicer was simply providing “alternative facts,” — referencing Trump’s “record breaking” crowd.

Again on Tuesday, Spicer told the press Trump’s administration believes voter fraud was committed during the election — despite providing no facts to support the claim. Trump tweeted Wednesday that his team would be launching a major investigation into it.

U.S. presidents have lied before. They have spun stories and withheld facts, but never in modern politics has a president had the audacity to blatantly create a falsehood that is so easily verifiable for his team to pass into the mass media for constituents to believe. It’s a slippery slope.

To quote the “1984” main character Winston Smith, “In the end, the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it.”

Young people need to see through this man’s “alternative facts” experiment, before he completely rids our nation of the equivalent of oxygen — truth.

Trump and his team now control the present and are attempting to use words to control the facts of the past. But most dubiously, they are changing how we will think in the future. “1984” depicts a shockingly similar narrative.

The book moved to No. 6 on Amazon’s best-sellers list on Tuesday following Conway’s “alternative facts” comment.

Whether you’ve read if before or have never heard of it, now is the time to read “1984” — before “Big Brother” starts “always watching.”


About Andrew Surma

Central Michigan Life Sports Editor

Central Michigan Life Editor in Chief (Summer 2016)

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