WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Dystopia is here. It’s not just the “imagined place” of the dictionary definition or a future state of dystopian novels. It is very real and right now, at least for those of us trying to follow national politics.
And it’s not just Donald Trump. It’s Barack Obama, it’s Ted Cruz, it’s the New York Times, it’s Breitbart News. It is an alternate universe detached from the world we live in but intruding into it in painful and dangerous ways.
It is a media narrative of political conspirators colluding with a dictatorial archenemy, of an intemperate and delusional leader overturning the institutions of democracy, of a “deep-state” resistance to constitutional authority.
It is a dystopia of rampant hypocrisy, where obstructing legislation, supporting a law-enforcement official who strays beyond the limits of his authority, or boycotting a president’s appointments is evil and undemocratic until it’s your party that wants to do it.
Two dystopian classics have shot back to the top of best-seller lists because the media suggest the authoritarian surveillance societies they portray have arrived. The 1948 novel “1984” and the 1985 novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” are touted as descriptions of where we are headed under Trump.
While the author of “Handmaid,” Margaret Atwood, and the cast of the Hulu miniseries based on it see a Trump administration as the realization of the misogyny depicted in the novel, it’s obvious the U.S. is not about to become a Puritanical theocracy like that in the book.
Critics on both the left and the right dispute the media meme that “Handmaid” is a depiction of the Trump era.
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