Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Shades of George Orwell
Well, it seems that George Orwell's 1984 has hit Amazon's best seller list again, thanks to Kellyanne Conway's statement about alternate facts. Maybe we should all give it another read to remind ourselves what we're up against in the new era of Trump.
Of course, alternate fact is an oxymoron. There can be no alternate fact. Facts are facts and stand alone. At least, that's true in the world of reality though not necessarily in the world of narcissistic politicians.
Words will be our weapons in the coming years. Obviously, the administration plans to use them as weapons as well and they have some big guns. By choosing who can cover the White House. By labeling certain news organizations (CNN) as peddlers of "fake news". By limiting how agencies may or may not communicate with the public via all forms of expression - tweet, email, press releases, interviews, policy papers. We will not hear any scientific fact the administration disapproves of. All references to climate change have been scrubbed from the EPA website. Trump seems to have taken lessons in media management from Vladimir Putin.
I don't believe we have ever had a president before who could stand before us and swear to an outright lie even when there is verbal and visual proof that his lie is a lie. It is a scary future in which the very words we rely on for communication cannot be trusted. We are lost in an information vacuum when the leader of the free world feels no responsibility to share honestly with his people.
The rest of us with have to engage in a world duel with our leaders. Ours may not carry as much weight as a president's but we outnumber him by millions so we'll have to rely on overwhelming his deceit with our truth.