Will The Trump Regime Use Orwell's 1984 As A Playbook?
The delusional self-imagine Trump and his lackeys are pushing out from the White House is colliding with the cold hard facts, if not the #AltFacts. He may style himself a "ratings machine," but his inaugural concert was "a dud, lacking A-list talent. On Friday, the inauguration ceremony pulled in 30.6 million viewers, 7 million less than Obama’s first swearing in, 12 million less than Reagan, and 3 million less than Jimmy Carter-- but slightly above that of Bill Clinton’s first- term ceremony of 29.7 million viewers. Trump, who recently Twitter-shamed Arnold Schwarzenegger for pulling in lower ratings than he had as a reality host of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, barely bested George W. Bush, a president whose election was won only after an aborted recount and Supreme Court intervention... At times, the president-elect appeared distracted at his own inauguration. Never known for his patience [attention span], he could not seem to sit still. He rocked in his seat minutes before taking the oath, tapped his fingers together and whispered to newly sworn-in Vice President Mike Pence when others were taking up time on the mike."
|Art by Tim O'Brien|
No matter how you sliced it, the affair lacked the exuberance and adoration we’ve come to expect from a showman like Trump on the campaign trail. He often cites his own power to amass fans and followers (have you heard he has a Twitter account?) as one of his greatest assets. He’s referred to it as his edge above all the other “losers.”In a Facebook post, Dan Rather warned that "These are not normal times. These are extraordinary times. And extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures." Will Newt Gingrich want to toss him into prison with Madonna for thought crimes?
Those losers seemed to be on his mind later that night as he danced with his model-beautiful wife wearing the look of a high school bully who’d just been named Prom King. Two lines from his inauguration speech seemed especially relevant to the moment: “Everyone is listening to you now... You will never be ignored again.”
Ignored? No, but upstaged, yes. The next morning the Women’s March on Washington flooded the areas around the Capitol Dome that had been noticeably less populated when Trump was waving from and walking near his stretch limo on the parade route. The half-empty parade bleachers and unoccupied ground tarps of Friday were swallowed up by a sea of protesters who’d flown in from across the country to voice concerns about the Trump presidency.
They were thousands among the millions who protested across the nation and the world for women’s rights-- and their concern about a president whose remarks about sexually assaulting women were as disturbing as some of his conservative Cabinet picks’ views of reproductive rights.
Madonna, America Ferrera, Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson and Gloria Steinem stoked the crowd’s exuberance in way that Trump did not the day before. It was a rousing spectacle. It was exciting. It was everything the show on Friday was not.
And maybe that is why Spicer was sent out on Saturday to belligerently berate the press-- “the opposition party,” in the words of one Trump official. Here was the “unbelievable” scene-- the likes of which we’d “never seen before.”
The true start of the Trump presidential reality show had begun.
Rather's point, though, is not blowing up the White House but that we all must step up "and say simply and without equivocation, 'A lie, is a lie, is a lie!' And if someone won't say it, those of us who know that there is such a thing is the truth must do whatever is in our power to diminish the liar's malignant reach into our society... Facts and the truth are not partisan. They are the bedrock of our democracy. And you are either with us, with our Constitution, our history, and the future of our nation, or you are against it. Everyone must answer that question."
Following the path Trump and his lackeys are headed is the road to tyranny and fascism. Are Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell going to countenance that?
Not that the first few days in the Trumpanzee Era were only about distorting the truth, Chuck Todd and his crew pointed out that it also highlighted America's great political divide, the structure on which Trump will build his government. "[Y]ou could argue," they wrote, "that the United States today is more politically divided than it was during the brass-knuckled 2016 campaign. In his inaugural address on Friday, President Trump took aim at Washington's political establishment ('For too long, a small group in our nation's capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost'), big cities across America ('Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones…; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives'), and globalization ('From this moment on, it's going to be America First'). Then, 24 hours later, millions of women-- as well as some men-- protested against Trump across the country and throughout the world. It was Rural America vs. Urban America. Nationalism vs. Globalism. 'American Carnage' vs. Women's Power. And we have 1,457 days to go in Trump's presidency."