In George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984, the “final, most essential command” of the ruling totalitarian regime is “to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.”
On Tuesday, President Trump made that same request of his supporters.
Speaking to a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) gathering in Kansas City, Trump implored his audience to forget about what they see and read — and instead just listen to him.
“Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news,” Trump said, pointing at reporters as the crowd broke out in boos. “Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”
It’s not the first time that team Trump has asked Americans to ignore their senses and simply believe what the administration is telling them.
Perhaps most memorably, on the very first day of Trump’s presidency, then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer berated journalists for accurately reporting that Trump’s inauguration was attended by a relatively small crowd — a demand that ThinkProgress characterized at the time as tantamount to a declaration of war on reality itself.
During his speech on Tuesday, Trump was specifically asking his audience to ignore reports about the pain that Americans are experiencing as a result of his escalating trade war, and instead have faith in him.
“Sick with us,” he pleaded. “Just stick with us.”