News — Sales For '1984' Have Surged After 'Alternative Facts'
by John Haltiwanger

Comments from President Donald Trump and his closest advisers can make it seem as though we are living in a dystopian world, which might help explain why more people are searching for and buying George Orwell's famous novel, "1984."

This seems to suggest people are preparing for the worst, or perhaps looking for some insight into how to survive in a world where leaders are completely averse to facts.

The Wikipedia page for "1984" has been viewed an absurd number of times since Trump's inauguration.


"1984," which was published in 1949, is also currently the sixth best-selling book on Amazon.


Welcome to post-fact America.

America's new president often seems to be operating under a different reality.

He's frequently lied in public, painted an apocalyptic picture of an America that doesn't really exist and hasn't shown signs of changing his tune anytime soon.

Trump's closest advisers exacerbate all of this in major ways. They seem more than happy to assist him in building this post-fact world.

In his first appearance after Trump's inauguration, White House press secretary Sean Spicer walked out and lied to America's face about the petty issue of how many people attended Trump's inauguration.

Spicer said Trump had "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period."

This couldn't be more false, but Spicer has been extremely indignant when challenged on this issue and seems content to continue to lie about it.

Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway defended Spicer by stating the Trump administration simply has "alternative facts."

But, "alternative facts" are not facts — they're just lies.

That's the nature of facts, they're true whether you want to believe them or not.

Alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods.

It's strange the Trump administration has chosen to obsess over this issue, and in many ways, it's more baffling his team is completely unwilling to acknowledge the truth.

But that's how Trump has acted on a number of issues, including the fact he lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

Trump has maintained this was because of illegal immigrants voting, with no evidence whatsoever to support this assertion.

He is living in a world of "alternative facts" and shows no signs he wishes to return to reality.

The phrase "alternative facts" is derived from George Orwell.

After Conway's "alternative facts" remarks, Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty immediately noted the parallels to "1984" on CNN's Reliable Sources,

Alternative facts is a George Orwell phrase.

It's reminiscent of the concept of "doublethink," coined by Orwell in "1984," which means, "the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them," according to The Guardian.

"Alternative facts" has also been likened to the term "newspeak" — also coined by Orwell and from "1984"—  which is a fictional language designed to destroy independent thought.

It seems that George Orwell might've warned us about Trump over half a century ago. But, sadly, we didn't listen.

Citations: Sales of George Orwell's 1984 surge after Kellyanne Conway's 'alternative facts' (The Guardian), 'Alternative facts:' Why the Trump team is 'planting a flag' in war on media (CNN)