People were already invoking the Republican Party’s rejection of “the reality-based community” and its “epistemic closure” long before Donald Trump took it over. But it has taken Trump to elevate the Republican Party’s reality-altering habits to a level that is literally Orwellian. The latest visit to the mind-bending frontier of pseudo-reality comes via this presidential tweet:
Here we learn that the anonymous quotes coming out of the White House are invented “so-called leaks” by the hostile reporters of the “Fake News Media.” At the same time, Trump denounces the leakers as “cowards” and “traitors.”
“Doublethink,” as George Orwell wrote, “means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.” Even Big Brother had enough respect for his audience to insist that they had always been at war with East Asia, or whoever they were at war with at the moment. You didn’t see Big Brother calling East Asia his great ally and enemy in consecutive sentences.