Saturday evening, presumably at President Trump’s direction, White House press secretary Sean Spicer held a press briefing. But he did not take questions and spent most his time charging that “the media” falsely downplayed the crowd and that this inauguration was the largest ever. He said this: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe.”
On Sunday morning Kellyanne Conway (Counselor to the President) appeared on Meet the Press. When asked why Mr. Spicer used his first press briefing to argue about such a small issue, Ms. Conway responded that Mr. Spicer gave “alternative facts”.
Alternative facts? Really? Frighteningly we’ve seen this before. In 1943 George Orwell wrote about this here. He wrote that totalitarian regimes are at their most dangerous when they deny truth. He explained that Nazi Germany did not believe in science but in “German Science” instead of “Jewish Science.” When leaders are able to convince their followers to ignore truth in favor of propaganda, their power is limitless.
Today we see that everywhere. President Trump dismisses climate change as a Chinese hoax. Forty two percent of Americans don’t believe in evolution. And 100% of current Presidents believe he drew more people to his inauguration than President Obama.