College Papers

I’ve I now see until a much later

I’ve never had a penchant for the books on my school’s “Summer Reading List”. They were mostly monotonous and vaguely resembled one another in terms of their prose and overall message. That was why I was so shocked while reading “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. This book was like a breath of fresh air and discussed history in a way that no other book has done: through the perspective of animals. One of the main issues that I noticed Orwell referenced was the abuse of power as a result of twisted language and rhetoric. He referenced it to discuss socialism, but I can see how this issue transcends into our lives in the Trump Era. When I first read this book at the end of 2016, PresidentTrump had not been elected yet, so I didn’t make many of the connections that I now see until a much later time. I had noticed, however, that his rhetoric was appalling and his overall presence was unpresidential in every sense of the word. In the last few weeks, there has been countless examples of how he twists his words to gain power (or at the very least, not get impeached). Somehow, he has managed to slide past every checkpoint despite the countless defamatory claims he has made towards women and African countries, while President Obama was questioned about his birthplace for the duration of his two-term presidency. To date, President Trump has said statements such as, “Why are we having all these people from sh*thole countries come here?” as a reference to protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries, “You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything….Grab them by the p*ssy. You can do anything.” Somehow, that last quote didn’t ruin his career, but rather, Billy Bush’s. To top it all off, President Trump recently tweeted, “My two greatest assets have been my mental stability and being, like, really smart” and went on to tweet that he is a  “genius….and a very stable genius at that!” It’s a bit sad that these things and more have all been said in less than a year, yet Trump is still in charge. Now, “Animal Farm” has made everything so much clearer to me. President Trump acts like the pig Napoleon in “Animal Farm”. He and his “team” have not truly accomplished anything substantial yet he has the audacity to state that he is “like, really smart”. This superiority complex that his has is eerily to that of the pigs in “Animal Farm” because Orwell writes that, “The pigs did not actually work, but directed and supervised the others. With their superior knowledge it was natural that they should assume the leadership.” In other words, Trump acts like he is most fit for the job, even though he has not exhibited any characteristics that would agree with that claim. Also, the farmhouse in the book acts as Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. The book states that, “In these days Napoleon rarely appeared in public, but spent all his time in the farmhouse, which was guarded at each door by fierce-looking dogs. When he did emerge, it was in a ceremonial manner, with an escort of six dogs who closely surrounded him and growled if anyone came too near. Frequently he did not even appear on Sunday mornings, but issued his orders through one of the other pigs, usually Squealer.” During his time as President, Trump has spent 49 days at Mar-a-Lago (as of December 29th), and usually sends out others to back up his outrageous claims, just as he sent out political advisor Stephen Miller to back up Trump’s claims of being a “stable genius”. Further, President Trump uses Twitter to actively make arguments and state his opinions. Instead of eloquently speaking to the public and addressing matters professionally, Trump uses Twitter as a crutch. This mimics Napoleon using the pack-dogs in “Animal Farm” rather than debating with the other pig, Snowball, about a windmill. Orwell states in his book, “But just at this moment Napoleon stood up and, casting a peculiar sidelong look at Snowball, uttered a high pitched whimper of a kind no one had ever heard him utter before. At this there was a terrible baying sound outside, and nine enormous dogs wearing brass studded collars came bounding into the barn. They dashed straight for Snowball, who only sprang from his place just in time to escape their snapping jaws.” This just goes to show that life during the Trump Era is a rocky and has strong connections to leaders during the Russian Revolution of 1917. The issues in his rhetoric are innumerable and not at all how he should act as President of the United States. I’ve thought a lot about this topic and my thinking hasn’t so much changed as it has developed. I used to not think about politics and world news that much. When Obama was President, we didn’t hear about him on the news every single day. Now, everywhere you turn, President Trump is there. It almost makes me wonder if popularity and attention was his goal all along. I’ve noticed that hardly anything Trump has said has actually come to fruition during his presidency, and just as Napoleon earned his title by promising wealth to all animals, then reneged his promise by taking milk and apples from animals and giving it to the pigs, Trump has done the same. He told us that “Everybody is getting a tax cut, especially the middle class,” but that’s just not true. The strong parallels between “Animal Farm” and real life are scary, but the issues with Trump’s language and rhetoric are even scarier.