Hopeless liberals of an age spent some of the 1960s debating which failed Eden, one resembling George Orwell’s “1984” or Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” was more likely in our future – pausing occasionally to ponder Robert Frost’s question of whether the world will end in fire or ice.
Back then, those intermediate and final destinies seemed plausible, but nothing as revolting as Trump’s presidency was conceivable. Not to boomers who had experienced Truman, Eisenhower, JFK, Lyndon Johnson and Nixon – no not even Tricky (“I am not a bum”) Dick could prepare America for “2017” that may replace the Orwell novel’s date as shorthand for a calamitous dystopia.
Trump’s 200 day returns strongly favor an Orwellian short run and very hot ending – either from human exacerbation of climate change or sooner from “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” So Huxley fans, like old HL here, for the moment seem to have been less prescient. But there is one Trump tool that is right out of the playbook employed by Brave New World’s rulers – his Twitter feed. The government of Huxley’s world kept the under classes/lower castes in check with simplistic fabricated news and narcotizing slogans dispatched daily. The third class/caste Gammas were fed short and simply worded propaganda in the Gazette, whose style and purpose closely resemble Trump’s tweets.
Especially those directed at his base in the Axis of Despair. Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia rally around him as he tries to take away their healthcare and insurance. The worse their plight gets, the shorter, nastier and more brutish the tweets – descending from those reminiscent of the Gamma Gazette to the monosyllables of Brave New World’s fourth caste daily Delta Mirror. SAD, BAD, THEY BEEN HAD!