A Timely Read - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1562318

A Timely Read

As the saying goes, all politics is local … and we just spent a great deal of time and effort on our recent elections here in the Town of Southampton, and rightly so. The voters have spoken, and all but a few races, which could be altered by the counting of absentee ballots, have been decided.

We know that our local Democrats will continue to hold the majority in the Town of Southampton, with Jay Schneiderman, John Bouvier, Tommy John Schiavoni and Julie Lofstad, and in Suffolk County as well, under Steve Bellone and Bridget Fleming’s leadership. I expect that we will continue to see good progress on many fronts over the next couple of years.

As important as it is to be involved in local matters, I believe that it is equally important to focus on national and international matters.

I am rereading George Orwell’s classic “Nineteen Eighty-Four” for the first time in many, many years. The parallels between the book and the Trump era are truly frightening in so many ways. The very beginning of the book introduces: Hate Week, The Ministry of Truth, “Ignorance Is Strength, War Is Peace, Freedom is Slavery,” Reality Control, and Doublethink.

During Hate Week, the smashing of faces and the hate of foreigners are but two glaring Trumpian similarities … Disdain for knowledge and science is paramount under Trump as with the novel … Ignorance Is Strength … Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s mouthpiece, epitomizes Reality Control and Doublethink, with her ever-mind-boggling “alternative facts” … Likewise, the Republican Congress’s refusal to face the facts that are right in front of them every day with Trump’s live TV statements and the testimony of true American patriots like William Taylor, a Republican Vietnam War medal recipient, Army commander, diplomat …

In the book, the character Emmanuel Goldstein is a Jewish dissident who is “The Enemy of the People” — just as the free press is “the enemy of the people” as Trump so often says.

Well, the public impeachment hearings have begun. It so reminds me of the Watergate hearings of so many years ago, absent patriot Howard Baker (perhaps some Republican patriots will emerge …).

Finally, our local congressman, Lee Zeldin, is one of Trump’s most loyal sycophants. We need to replace him in 2020. Hopefully, Trump will be gone before then, leaving in disgrace like Nixon … both counseled by sleazy, slimy Roger Stone. Back to the past … back to the future.

I worry, but I am hopeful for my children and grandchildren. Winter is at hand — I encourage you to take some time to read a few good books. “Ninteen Eighty-Four” is a very good place to start.

Dick Sheehan

Westhampton Beach


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