Fifty years ago, I read a novel, “Nineteen Eighty-four” by George Orwell. I chose it primarily because of its proximity to the title year. When he penned it, I’m sure he considered what had happened before the Second World War in Germany, as citizens surrendered their rights and responsibilities. I watched Donald Trump campaign for president and I was reminded of scenes from the novel. When he was sworn in, I decided to reread it. Apparently, I was not alone, because the novel repeated as a best seller in January 2017.
As I watched some of the President’s recent rally in Minneapolis, I was again reminded of Orwell’s novel. There is a scene in the book, the “two minute hate.” The characters are gathered in a room and shown horror scenes of the “enemy.” As they become more pronounced, people increasingly express displeasure from anger to screaming, to absolutely rabid behavior. Similarly, people at the rally, listen to the President as he denigrates his opponents. First, they laugh, then boo, and, on inspiration from the President, a few act out. Some attack the media or protesters. Let’s not give up our rights and responsibilities as citizens. Hate has no place in America.