Speed Reads

twilight zone

Trump eerily channels 1984 in speech to veterans

President Trump on Tuesday went to Kansas City, Missouri, to give an address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, and unwittingly offered up a bit of literary analysis in the process.

Trump sought to defend his escalating trade war, reassuring the audience that the U.S. is "doing better than ever before, economically," despite news that the Department of Agriculture will provide $12 billion in emergency funding to farmers who have been hurt by recent tariffs on various crops. The president doubled down on his claim that his tariffs "are the greatest," while simultaneously seizing the chance to blame the "fake news media."

"Just remember," said Trump, "what you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening." He promised attendees that "it's all working out" as planned. Critics were quick to notice the parallels between Trump's words and George Orwell's 1984, the dystopian novel that warns of an all-controlling government that manipulates the public.

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears," the novel reads. "It was their final, most essential command." Trump, who reportedly doesn't read much, may not have realized just how Orwellian he sounded — but perhaps it's fitting that the president would accidentally allude to the novel after sending it back to the bestsellers list.