Monday is late author George Orwell’s birthday, and his chilling classic “1984” unfortunately seems more timely than ever.
Winston Smith, the book’s hero, is brainwashed to love dictatorial Big Brother, while forced by the state’s thought police to not only say “2+2=5,” but believe it with all his heart, or else.
Perhaps Orwell should have titled the book “2018.” For example, President Donald Trump still insists we are in grave danger from an increasing number of Mexican immigrants illegally pouring over our border, and need a huge, expensive wall to keep them out. Don’t statistics show most Mexicans who do come to the United States do so to work at menial but vital jobs Americans wouldn’t touch?
No, that’s ridiculous — Mexican rapists are storming our border and threatening our womenfolk! We need that border wall now, and you can be damn sure the Mexicans will pay for it. 2+2=5!
Meanwhile, perhaps weary of bashing Mexicans, Trump has turned a mischievous eye to our Northern border, where an even bigger menace plots to destroy us. Yes, those devious Canadians!
According to CNN, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Trump how he could justify new steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada as a national security issue. Trump replied, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” (Um, no.) Trump later tweet-attacked Trudeau as “dishonest” and “weak.”
But come on. Doesn’t Trudeau, and in fact most Canadians, seem honest and super polite? That’s just to make us feel bad! Don’t they keep flooding our borders with diabetes-inducing maple syrup and annoying singers who dominate our radio stations? Deport Drake and Justin Bieber!
OK, Mexico and Canada are no longer our friends. But take heart — a new amigo has arrived. Of course, I’m talking about that fun guy Kim Jong Un.
“Really, he’s a great personality,” insists Trump. “He loves his people, not that I’m surprised by that.”
Really? Isn’t Kim the same ruthless dictator who starves and kills hundreds of thousands of his fellow North Koreans? Oops, sorry, must have the wrong Kim. This great personality loves his people to death. You’re absolutely right, Big Brother. 2+2=5.
Give Orwell credit. He did try to warn us.
Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.