If you’ve never read George Orwell’s 1984, then you probably won’t much appreciate this post. But Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin both did something that represents, in a frightening way, how Trump has brought us into our own version of Orwell’s novel, whose main character, Winston Smith, had a job of rewriting history at the ironic Ministry of Truth.
Winston was a truth-seeker in a world that was ruled by the truth-changing “Party.” He hated the totalitarian Party and had rebellion in his heart. He maintained a diary to keep him grounded to reality. Big Brother, though, eventually caught up with him. The Thought Police arrested him and the tortuous brainwashing began. Winston needed to get his mind right.
The sad thing about Orwell’s 1984 is that Winston did get his mind right. He confessed to crimes he didn’t commit. He betrayed the only person he loved. Black became white. Big Brother won.
Now, this is where Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin come in. What they represent, in their own way, is the Thought Police under the Party of Trump. Each represents just how powerful a force Trumpism has become, and how mind-bending it is. Republicans, almost all of them, are getting their minds right. And they want the rest of us to follow. America is fast becoming a large, thankfully only metaphorical, Room 101. They want to weaken our resistance.
I heard Paul Ryan say this morning that, “the healthcare system has been ruined, dismantled, under Obamacare.” Now, that is most clearly a lie. Not a word of truth in it. Not one word. But during the short press conference that followed his utterly false claim, not one reporter asked him to defend it. Not one reporter asked him if it was irresponsible to lie to the American people in such an egregious way. Reporters were instead focused on Trump and something he tweeted. And one reporter even shouted a question about the Senate gym. Black becoming white.
Then we have Sarah Palin. Way back in what seems like ancient history now—it was 2008—WikiLeaks published some of Palin’s emails, which had been stolen by hacking into her account. She, naturally, didn’t take kindly to Julian Assange, who founded WikiLeaks two years earlier, publishing her private ramblings. She was right to be outraged. Privacy is supposed to be private.
But this is 1984 now. And here, in its entirety, is what Palin posted on Facebook on Tuesday night about Assange:
To Julian Assange: I apologize.
Please watch Sean Hannity‘s interview with Julian Assange (Wikileaks).
Exposing the truth re: the Left having been oh-so-guilty of atrocious actions and attitudes of which they’ve falsely accused others. The media collusion that hid what many on the Left have been supporting is shocking. This important information that finally opened people’s eyes to democrat candidates and operatives would not have been exposed were it not for Julian Assange.
I apologize for condemning Assange when he published my infamous (and proven noncontroversial, relatively boring) emails years ago.
As I said at the time of being targeted and my subsequent condemnation, though, the line must be drawn before our troops or innocent lives deserving protection would be put at risk as a result of published emails.
Julian, I apologize.
Palin’s mind is now right. Black is white. Julian Assange’s dark heart is now as pure as the wind-driven snow. But more than that, Palin is remapping the minds of her earnest followers, millions of them. This brainwashing technique is part of Trumpism. It is cultish. It is dangerous. And it is working. Assange, who almost certainly collaborated with the Russians to help get Trump elected, is fast becoming a hero on the right. And journalists and public officials who try to tell the truth about Assange and the Russians are now called liars. For millions of Americans, the only reliable source of facts is Trump’s Twitter account, the Ministry of Truth-in-waiting.
As noted, Orwell’s dystopian novel did not have a happy ending. The denouement of our present story is obviously unknown. What we do know is that on January 20, Trumpism and its tweeting Ministry of Truth will marry real power. Republicans will soon have it all. Resistance is critical. This version of 1984 must have a happy ending.
How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?