Photo via Otto de Voogd (CC-BY)
Libertarian vice presidential nominee Gov. Bill Weld left Morning Joe anchors stunned this morning as he read a passage from George Orwell’s 1984, declaring “welcome to Donald Trump's America, everybody!”The English writer’s dystopian novel depicts a world of perpetual war, where the state, run by maniacal cult leader Big Brother, tyrannically surveils and controls the actions and thoughts of Oceania’s population.
The particular passage from the story read by Weld describes the frenzied ‘Two Minutes Hate,’ a brainwashing exercise in which individuals angrily scream and shout as they are presented with images of the state’s enemies. This sometimes results in violent outbursts but ultimately concludes as viewers, shown an image of Big Brother, rejoice and chant.
Will Americans suffer the Two Minutes Hate if Trump makes it to the White House? That remains to be seen. Weld’s trajectory might seem somewhat exaggerated but, behaviorally speaking, Trump rally chants of “lock her up” coupled with the physical altercations odiously point toward a similar kind of subversive dictatorial fanaticism—at least, that's what Trump's critics might say.
Still, whether Weld is onto something or not, Orwell’s historic warning about power and manipulation remains as nightmarish as ever.