covered in paint

Thirty three years ago, George Orwell became extra popular across the world. His Facebook page went viral and he multiplied his Twitter followers a hundredfold, or he would have if those things had been operable in 1984.

It appears he may be in the process of making a comeback. Based on the first few days of the Trump presidency, 1984 has vaulted to the top of the bestseller’s list. I’m down with dystopian novels being appropriate right now, but I’m thinking of a different Orwell novel –  Animal Farm.

Most of us read it in high school, many were forced to. Unlike many other designated classics, Animal Farm was short, easy to read, and simple to get, at least on the surface. But this book is one of the great satires in history, ranking with Catch-22, Letters From Earth, and South Park, at least in style.

I began thinking about Orwell’s other masterpiece the second or third time I heard Kellyanne Conway speak on television. Not answering questions while giving a string of words that sounded like an answer is hard to do. Accomplishing that feat with a straight face requires great talent or complete lack of conscience. I thought of Squealer, the persuasive pig in Animal Farm who explains ever changing events to the other animals.

Of course, Trump has to be Napoleon, the traitor who takes over the farm. He would probably consider that a compliment. The Alt Right guys are his pack of wild dogs ready to attack anyone not toeing the Animalism line. The other parroting animals that support the lies spouted by Squealer and Napoleon would be the base Trump supporters; the Basket of Deplorables.

I’m not sure who plays Snowball, the initial leader of Animalism who is betrayed by Napoleon. There don’t seem to be any Republicans that fall into that category. Maybe Snowball is American Democracy.

I realize the inauguration is only two weeks passed but things are getting scary. Trump established a record for lying during the campaign according to Politifact and set a stunning precedent in his first few days in charge.

Vaguely worded Executive Orders designed to placate the loyal supporters expecting quick action reigned down on America. Mixed in among the things that aren’t good policy were decisions that might hurt in the long run and other steps that appear to be circumventing the very freedoms America is based on.

Limits on press conferences and attacks on reporters were already part of the game plan before the small amounts of confetti were swept away. The EPS website and the biography of Jeff Sessions were swept clean within days of the transition without explanation. A military convoy flying the Trump flag was seen in Virginia this week. No explanation was given. Any uproar is being explained away with more lies camouflaged as simple truths.

We are being introduced to new language; phrases like alternate facts, patriotic devotion, and American carnage are being bandied about. The only people happy about the first days of Trump’s rule are the true believers who support him 100%. Check some of their opinions if you want to get chills.

Any day now I expect to hear reports of a pig lying at the bottom of a ladder covered in paint.

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Image: we believe the Animal Farm illustration was designed as a poster for an adaptation by Sir Peter Hall (promotional image) as it appeared widely on the web and unattributed. Should that be in error, we would immediately provide proper attribution, attempt to license, and/or take down.
Mike Cox

Mike Cox

Mike Cox currently writes a weekly column in South Carolina for the Columbia Star called "It's Not a Criticism, It's an Observation." He is trying to grow old as gracefully as possible without condemning the current generation in charge to doom. Each day this task gets harder as the overwhelming evidence mounts. He currently has two published books; Finding Daddy Cox, and October Saturdays. His columns have won three South Carolina Press Association awards since 2003. Mike has three sons and two grandchildren and lives in Irmo, Sc, just outside of Columbia.