“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasion, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.” -George Orwell
This quote embodies the staggering severity of the political issues our nation faces today. Though George Orwell was known for being more pessimistic and cynical than most people, his words still hold true for America’s modern-day political landscape. Politicians have devolved from respectable voices of the people into lying, corrupt, self-serving figures of authority. People who once treated their neighbors and friends with universal respect now demonize and viciously attack those whose views don’t perfectly align with their own. In essence, politics have seeped into the cracks of everyone’s lives, polarizing issues that should be bipartisan and throwing morality out the window. The state of American politics is, as Trump often eloquently says, “SAD.”
In fact, politicians have become so dishonest and corrupt that the American public is largely desensitized to scandals and events that should incite outrage. Fifty years ago, it would’ve been unacceptable for a president or figure of power to feed the public blatant lies and speak with no filter; nowadays, people would be shocked if one of the POTUS’ tweets weren’t nonsensical or bigoted. We’ve grown so used to the fact that a little orange troll runs our country that the fact that he denies the existence of scientifically-proven phenomena (climate change), hires prostitutes and pays them hush-money, and blames all of the nation’s problems on minorities doesn’t faze us in the slightest, even though half of his actions should be grounds for impeachment.
Despite the fact that almost everything that comes out of Trump’s mouth is either a lie or sheer nonsense, his approval ratings are still shockingly high, because he’s feeding his supporters—largely consisting of uneducated Americans in the deep South—what they want to hear. By garnering constant hatred and widening the divide between the far-left and far-right, Trump distracts his supporters from his incompetence by filling their minds with hateful rhetoric and anger-inciting slogans, such as describing foreign nations as “shit-hole countries” and the immigrants who come from them as “drug dealers and rapists.” His supporters delude themselves into thinking he’s right, because it’s easier to find a scapegoat for the nation’s problems than to take action towards solving them.
Overall, the dishonesty and corruption that plague politics, along with the willful ignorance of a large portion of the public, are the biggest obstacles to improving the nation. Sadly, George Orwell’s description of politics will likely remain true for a long time, at least until politicians become more focused on fostering unity than encouraging division.