Trump and Orwell

On tonight’s Newshour David Brooks summed up the issue clearly:

And there are sort of two theories of why [Trump] tells things that are false all the time. Is it because he’s sort of an Orwellian figure, an authoritarian figure who is twisting words in an Orwellian manner, “1984,” to exercise power and control people’s minds, or is he a 5-year-old who has an ego that needs to be fed, and the universe has to warp around his ego needs so he can feel good about himself, and everybody has to produce photos to make the monarch feel like he’s made of gold?

MARK SHIELDS: Which do you vote on?

DAVID BROOKS: I vote on the 5-year-old kid.

As I’ve argued here and here, I vote for Orwell. And the more we present the 5-year-old thesis and similar ad hominem arguments, the less we present and analyze the Orwellian thesis. We simply cannot do both at the same time, and the personal attacks divert from the political analysis.

Fortunately, however, sales of 1984 are number one on the Amazon bestseller list!

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