is one of those cultural totems that has long ceased to exist solely in its original form as a novel. It's regularly referred to and used as a kind of shorthand for 'existing in a totalitarian state' and any time a work gets transformed this way you can pretty much count on it being misused, mangled, or misappropriated in some way. Clinton wasn't giving a book report. She was free-associating, trying to draw a parallel with Trumpism. While I agree that her attempt seemed a bit forced and was not completely successful I don't agree with the Washington Times
The reference to Orwell was basically an aside and can be left out.
“Attempting to define reality is a core feature of authoritarianism,” Mrs. Clinton writes. “This is what the Soviets did when they erased political dissidents from historical photos. This is what happens in George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, when a torturer holds up four fingers and delivers electric shocks until his prisoner sees five fingers as ordered.
“The goal is to make you question logic and reason and to sow mistrust towards exactly the people we need to rely on: our leaders, the press, experts who seek to guide public policy based on evidence, ourselves,” she continues.
Her main point is about the tendency of authoritarian regimes to redefine reality, to spread doubt, and to ignite anger and resentment. And, as pointed out by Walter Benjamin, if this can be done at large public rallies, so much the better.
Do you know Clinton also blamed women for her loss, saying they wanted to please their husbands and boyfriends?
I don't doubt that there were women who didn't like her and were happy to tell everyone that the weren't going to vote for her just because she was a woman. I might even know some of them. But you've got to be more objective here — she's not blaming her loss solely on women. She's just enumerating the many factors which contributed to her defeat. Comey, Trump's campaign style, Wikileaks, Sanders, the "vast right-wing conspiracy", etc.
Look, I wish she'd just go away. I'm getting tired of having to elucidate her statements in response to what I consider misplaced, mistaken, or malicious criticism. But she's not going away and neither are her rabid detractors.
Personally I think it's damning that first woman to win a major party's presidential nomination only got there because she's the wife of a former president.
To me, that totally skews her "feminist credentials". I think she showed herself to be a good public servant but I don't think she was inspirational enough to be a "leader". Most of the other accusations against her — the trail of bodies, enabling her husband's infidelities, being a "crook" — no, I just see that stuff as predictable political smear tactics, like the "Swift Boat Veterans" or the "birthers" or Willie Horton. I don't need that stuff to not want her as my president since I already felt that way.
Tell you what, Lash, I'll make a deal with you. I won't mention the woman again...if you don't.