Read Them Before They’re Banned

Fewer than two weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency have shaken up everyone who has good judgment and a basic sense of decency. True, that isn’t everyone.  David Duke is thrilled, but a lot of us aren’t.

Many of us have found an outlet, though.  We can register protests, either in person or through some other means.

Book lovers have an immediate reaction.  We look for any fiction or nonfiction relevant to the Fascist crap we see coming from the White House.

Some recommended titles are The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and 1984 by George Orwell.

I haven’t read Hannah Arendt’s book, but I own a single-volume copy of the entire work and plan to read it soon (most of the time the title is sold in three volumes).

Donald Trump has been issuing Executive Orders which exceed his authority.  Provided the courts aren’t in his back pocket, civil rights law firms should be able to get the orders invalidated — eventually. We’ve already seen how inadequate an overnight legal victory can be in an emergency situation, though, with Muslims (only from countries where The Donald has no business interests) still being prevented from moving smoothly through Customs.  If real court victories are inevitable, some will be too late for people who need protection.

One thing we can still do is choose what we read.  Don’t assume we’ll always have that right, though.  Donald Trump will most likely be able to change the atmosphere in the U.S. Supreme Court because he’ll nominate candidates with views similar to his own.  The person who replaces Antonin Scalia won’t make any big changes because Justice Scalia issued reactionary opinions.  However, depending on whose seat becomes available next, the United States Constitution may be destroyed through bad rulings.

We don’t know what’s going to happen next, or when it will happen. The right to choose reading material is often one of the first things to go when a society’s freedom is taken away.

If books (aside from Ann Coulter & Co.’s propaganda) were more popular than Fox News or Reality TV, would Donald Trump have been elected in the first place?  We’ll never know, but I’m inclined to think we’d have a different president if voters were better educated.  The Donald hopes to keep the trend strong, by nominating Betsy DeVos as Education Secretary.

(Note: The next time you hear someone say, “It’s all a conspiracy,” don’t scoff.)

At the end of this post, please see a screenshot of this morning’s online catalog information from the San Francisco Public Library. It’s their listing for paperback copies of 1984 by George Orwell.  Note the forty-seven requests.  Let’s hope those copies are read, and read carefully.  I also find it encouraging that Amazon has a paperback edition on back order because customers have bought every copy in stock.  The indie bookseller near my apartment had two copies as of this morning, but they may have to reorder soon.

For God’s sake, read the most important books while you can.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BURN BOOKS TO DESTROY A CULTURE. JUST GET PEOPLE TO STOP READING THEM.

— RAY BRADBURY

orwell-1984

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