Orwell said (1949) “Asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or outdoors, in the bath or in the bed-no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull.” (Book 1, Chapter 2) This research paper will examine the lack of individuality and dehumanization by President Donald Trump during his travel ban and new laws on immigration. Were the people affected by President Trump’s laws on immigration treated as individuals or dehumanized? Orwell’s 1984 predicted the brutalization and lack of uniqueness in today’s US government after the election of President Trump and his laws on immigration. The most pertinent evidence of this statement is comparing President Trump’s dehumanization to the way Big Brother stripped the proles and other citizens of Oceania of the individuality and freedom of speech. Donald Trump’s travel ban and laws on immigration are comparable to Big Brothers laws and taking his citizens’ individuality away so that he has complete control over everyone.
Firstly the travel ban was a new law unveiled by President Trump to restrict the travel in and out of the United States of America for citizens of 6 certain countries. Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Iran were the 6 countries targeted by the ban issued by the President. The ban was brought to the public after the terrorist attack that occurred on the London bridge, where seven pedestrians were killed when a van of three assailants rammed them into the bridge. The President’s main argument was that this travel ban would keep out all terrorists, criminals, gang members to lead to a safer America but he also mentioned another positive this ban would bring is more job opportunities for the ‘children of America’. The ban issued in 2017 has been denied but recently brought back into conversation. The supreme court, that had rejected it the first time, have allowed certain parts of the ban to go into effect but not the entire plan. Citizens from the 6 named countries may have been denied entry to the USA for 90 days some cases brought it to 120 days.
If applicants had a valid and legal reason to enter the country such as job offers or acceptance into a university then they were granted entry without waiting the 90 or 120 days. The President’s reasoning for this ban is to keep terrorists out of America but no one from the six countries have ever killed anyone through acts of terrorism in the United States since 1975. Fourteen years after 9/11 there were only three refugees convicted of terrorism related crimes. None involved any deaths or injuries. This is just evidence of Donald Trump dehumanizing people for their nationality and religion after they have committed none of the crimes he accused them of.
Secondly, Donald Trump, like Big Brother, is attempting to create his version of the Ministry of Truth. He has, many times, been caught up in his own lies or false facts. In the book “1984” The Party has created the Ministry of Truth. It is a group to help the proles and rest of the population of Oceania believe in the things Big Brother, the thought police and the rest of the party create to keep them under control. The first example of a mistruth told by the President was right after his inauguration day. He accused the media of creating a lie about the President having a feud with the Central Intelligence Agency but Donald Trump had started it himself when he had compared them to “Nazis”.
This example shows how President Trump wants his followers to believe that what the media says about him is all “Fake News” and that they should believe him instead when on his first days as President, he was already telling lies. A second example of this idea could be when Trump’s Travel ban was lifted for the first time by the Supreme Court. The ban was lifted and Donald Trump was furious and wanted to bring people against the court.
First off, he said that people were now “pouring in” because the ban was suspended. That is a false fact because even with the ban being lifted, immigrants would still have to wait a certain period of time whether it was 90 or 120 days after being approved and having all the requirements needed. Second of all, Trump tried to bring people against the court and claimed that “Anyone, even with bad intentions, can now come into the USA” which was also false. These are a couple of examples of how Donald Trump dehumanizes immigrants or people of different religions, cultures in general through his version of the Ministry of Truth like we have seen in the book “1984”. Third of all, President Trump has always used social medias to dehumanize and strip away the individuality of immigrants. The president himself has said he has around 25 000 000 followers on social medias between Twitter and Facebook. He said that it was a great way to communicate messages to the public. Many times he used that power in the wrong way.
The first example was a recent event. President Trump was in a closed door meeting and Immigration from Haiti was brought to conversation. He had reportedly started using ‘tough language’ when addressing the subject and that he would rather have immigrants from Denmark instead.
Members in the meeting specified the type of tough language that had been used by the President in the meeting and that it was inappropriate on his part. Donald Trump later tweeted that he had used ‘tough language’ but it was not as tough as those members had described it to be. Although when asked if it was true, White House members did not deny this. Another example of President Trump using social medias for the wrong reason could be when Donald Trump tweeted “I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST”. In this tweet, the President implies that immigrants coming into the US are not benefiting the country at all and are causing problems such as crimes, less jobs, etc. He said he does not want anymore lottery immigrants but most immigrants coming into the USA are people that waited a long time due to the 90-120 day delay and had all the requirements they needed to apply for immigration.
These are a couple of examples of how the President uses social media to take away the humanity of immigrants and judging a group of people based on a couple individuals. This is comparable to 1984 because in the book Big Brother and the Party use their 2 minutes of hate to dehumanize Goldstein and the Brotherhood and try to make the proles believe that he was a criminal when in reality he was trying to bring back everyone’s individuality and humanity. The 2 minute hate is a alternative to social media since they did not have any of that in 1949 when the book was written.