It looks like 1984 is happening, but just 35 years late. Because the slogans from the novel — War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength — have become the slogans of Donald Trump’s Republican party.
Trump tells us that in order to have peace, we — a nation created by immigrants — have to wage war against immigrants. In an interview with Bill O’Reilly, Trump said “This is a war against people that are vicious, violent people, that we have no idea who they are, where they come from.”
As for Freedom is Slavery, in his speech this week, Trump claimed that in order to protect asylum seekers who are are fleeing horrible crime in their home countries, and to protect them from assault “on the dangerous trek up through Mexico“, we have to build a wall to keep them out. Trump has also defended the use of tear gas against asylum seekers and we’ve seen families with children put in cages.
But mostly, yesterday was a banner day for Ignorance is Strength, when Trump officially admitted that Mexico isn’t going to pay for the wall, and then insisted that he never said any such thing. Of course, we have tons of evidence that Trump said exactly that, both on video and in writing. Who are you going to believe? Trump, or your own lying ears and eyes?
If that weren’t enough, the poster child for 1984 yesterday was Rudy Giuliani. I have been trying to avoid writing anything about Giuliani since he became a clown, but yesterday in an interview with The Hill, he outdid himself. Maybe he figured that he has to say crazier and more outrageous things in order to get any attention. Well it worked.
First, Giuliani said that President Trump’s legal team should be allowed to correct special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report, before Congress or the American people get the chance to read it. He said that it was “a matter of fairness”, “so we can correct it if they’re wrong. They’re not God, after all. They could be wrong.”
Seriously, I am not making this up. I guess Giuliani believes that if you are powerful enough, you should be able to “correct” any criminal charges against you. After all, it’s only fair. The law is only for the little people.
Note that back when Mueller was appointed, Trump praised him and supported the investigation. Trump said:
As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly.
But speaking of collusion, Giuliani downplayed reports this week that Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, shared information during the presidential campaign with the Russians, which is collusion. Giuliani responded “Should he have done it? No. But there’s nothing criminal about it.”
Since he was on a roll, Giuliani also downplayed the news that Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, who was recently sentenced to 3 years in prison, is going to testify in public before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Giuliani said “I have no concerns about Cohen at all because I can prove with very little effort that he is a total, complete and absolute liar.” Giuliani has also called Cohen an “unethical… scumbag” and added “He’s a horrible person.”
Of course, I can prove with very little effort that Giuliani is a total, complete and absolute liar, because in May 2018, before Cohen agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, Giuliani praised Cohen, saying that “The man is an honest, honorable lawyer.”
Speaking honestly, I don’t know which is worse: if Cohen is an honorable person and the things he is accusing Trump of doing are true, or if Cohen is a “total, complete and absolute liar” and a “horrible person”, and yet since 2006 he was the personal lawyer for Donald Trump and a vice president of the Trump Organization. After all, Trump told us he hires the best people.