Back in 1985, Neil Postman, an educator and critic, published a piece entitled "Amusing Ourselves to Death." Neil Postman's piece expounded the contrast between George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.”
In Orwell's vision, merciless oppression is the real threat to democracy. On the other hand, Huxley sees a world of people being satiated, sedated, and seduced. In other words, it's we who enslave ourselves.
Orwell lived during the time of Soviet ascendancy and Nazi devastation. Hence, you can say that his vision is heavily influenced by that. However in these times, Huxley's vision is what stands true. And the election of Trump may be the biggest example of people slowly giving up democracy for a piece of entertainment.
During the presidential campaign period, mainstream news media loved to cover Trump. He was entertaining, and that meant it could boost the network's audience. Furthermore, Trump was running for President, which meant that news programs were at liberty to cover him. Now that Trump is President, news networks are less enthusiastic about their coverage decisions as the President loudly proclaims these news stations as "Fake News." It seems like the news networks created this “monster” that turned on them. However, that is not what is most critical about his presidency.
There's no way of denying it that Trump lies. Politifact has never had so many “Pants on fire” rating for any other modern politician. However, it's how Trump lies that is most disturbing. If Trump is lying and people aren’t aware, they may believe it to be true. If Trump lies and you know he's lying, he does it in sucha way as if he were winking at you, secretly telling you that you are in with the lie. Sort of a “we're just playing and just go along with it.” It may seem fun and entertaining, but that is the true danger of Trump.
Democracy is built on the foundation of truth. There have been countless of times in history in which dictators were overthrown, exposed of their lies. But in present times, a new form of casual dictatorship is on the rise.
This new form of dictatorship controls your choices, risks your security, and alienates you if you say something that is not agreeable to the man in charge. This is exactly what Trump is doing. So, why are the people not in rage against the President?
It's simply because he is entertaining to watch. In this new form of dictatorship, there are no tortures, prison cells, or executions. As Aldous Huxley had warned us, we enslave ourselves.
Trump’s main tool for gaining power is lying. If some organization or someone is a threat to his power, he simply creates stories of how dangerous the person or organization is. On the other end, you could either believe him or simply let it slide as it's funny to watch.
In essence, we must ask ourselves if the entertainment value is truly worth the threat to our form of democracy (it isn’t). And we should further examine the question of whether impeachment is appropriate for this presidency (it is). The joke has run its course, and it isn’t funny anymore. Not now that the clown is actually in charge.