It was a brisk, cold morning in November, and the clocks were all striking 13. A paraphrase from Orwell’s opening sentence of his novel “1984,” the most frightening book I have ever read. Apologies to Stephen King. I never believed we would see it in the U.S., but I thank Donald Trump and his willfully ignorant supporters for bringing it to life.

If Trumpers find the term “willfully ignorant” offensive, take solace in the fact that I can think of no term that fits that would be published and yet still reflect the reality of just what his cult followers are.

The basic premise of “1984” is that an autocratic leader, Big Brother, or, in our case, Trump, destroys truth and facts. Truth and facts come only from Big Brother. Remember, “I and I alone …” and “no one knows more about _______ than I do”? “What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” “Believe me.” Or his adviser, who referred to “alternative facts.”

The Republican Party is gone, replaced by Trumpers. As much as I wish my mom and dad, a 30-year U.S. Navy vet who served in World War II, both lifelong Republicans, were still here, I am glad that they didn’t have to see the collection of idiotic, buffoonish cartoon characters, clad head to toe in Trump paraphernalia, mindlessly chanting “lock her up” or “build the wall” like unthinking parrots.

Without truth and facts, democracy dies. God help our democracy.

Herb Fox

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