GeorgeOrwell’s Lens: “What Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Get about Her OwnImmigration Story”
George Orwell writes candidly about the use of the English languagein politics to suit set objectives and situations. He famously wrotethat “political language is designed to make lies sound truthfuland murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to purewind (Orwell 157). Hillary Clinton’s political views and statementsepitomize such depiction of lies as truth. During her presidentialcampaign, she repeatedly stated that the country should welcome moreimmigrants as everybody will be set to benefit. However, the articleand video presented by Farrar comprehensively shows that she was notwholly truthful in heaping praise on American immigration history.Farrar reveals that Hillary’s relatives from her paternalgrandmother’s side lost jobs as a result of lax immigrationpolicies the early 20th century. Her speechesstrategically ignore such facts and seek to a romanticized image ofimmigration while in reality, Americans have a different view of thesame. Thus, the George Orwell’s view of politicians such as HillaryClinton and their use of the English language portray them as liarsand people who manipulate words and their meanings for selfish gains.
Hillary Clinton fails to acknowledge the fact immigration is adouble-edged sword that has divided Americans right down the middle.On the one hand, American employers recognize the need for lowerwages accepted by immigrants and the need for increased labor sourcesto support growth in production. On the contrary, workers fear thatimmigrants would create an imbalance in the labor market leading tounemployment and even lower wages. However, Hillary Clinton ralliedvoters to support her presidency that would support immigrantsalready in the country since their numbers drive the US economy.While it is true that the state has historically relied on immigrantsfor growth and industrialization, not all subsequent cases ofimmigration have been beneficial. Also, empirical observations showthat immigration can benefit or hurt the economy depending onprevailing circumstances. Furthermore, economic theories such as thelaw of demand and supply help forecast the impact of uncontrolledimmigration. In most cases, the unlimited supply of laborers throughimmigration in a given market is likely to cause unemployment.
Again, Clinton personalized the issue of immigration to make herclaims more believable. She cites her family’s experience inpursuing the American dream. As one of the major female contendersfor the presidency, and also given her impressive political career,Clinton believed her story was enough to inspire many voters tosupport and share the American dream by electing her. The move is anexceptional way to employ pathos and appeal to the emotions of thecitizenry. Clinton believed that she was the right candidate and wasgoing to make the first female president who rose from a humbleimmigrant background. However, this was not to be. Individuals suchas Farrar dug deeper into her history and realized all was not rosyas she intended to portray. While there are occasional successfulstories of immigrants such as Clinton and President Barrack Obama’s,not many immigrants can narrate such success. Among are them are theJones brothers. Thus, failing to acknowledge the potential pitfallsof unrestricted immigration and the effects on workers is tantamountto misleading the people. Her intentions were to manipulate thepublic perception of a relaxed immigration policy as a creator anddriver of the American dream.
Furthermore, Clinton aptly employs politics to debase language andput her point through. Ideally, she claims that “Our future willalways be written in part by immigrants.” However, this claim isshrouded in vagueness. First of all, she does not elaborate in whatways that immigrants have contributed towards the history of America.She should have noted that there have been positives and negatives inthe immigration narrative. In fact, her opponent, Donald Trump isfamous for blaming terrorism, crime, slowed economy, and the drugproblem to immigrants. Therefore, Clinton’s view of the topic ofimmigration mirrors Orwell’s claim that political language is“largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness”(13). A proper presentation on the issue should have applied logosand appeal to logic and reason by providing statistics and data onhow immigration has helped write the American history. Again, Farrarfeels that the immigration debate is a non-issue. What needs to beaddressed is how well the country can maneuver through economic andtechnological change. Emphasizing on immigration only seeks to flareup emotions for political gain and further divide Americans withoutaddressing the core issue of ensuring that all Americans affected bychange positively and negatively have their needs addressed.
From the above discussion, it is evident that political language isvague and seeks to cover up lies. As for Hillary Clinton, she employsthe ‘us against them’ mentality in addressing the immigrationissue. She attempts to make Americans believe that they have all beenbeneficiaries of immigration and thus they have a moral obligation tosupport it. However, looking back, it is evident that her familypartly suffered from the effects of immigration. She chooses toignore such potential effects of immigration for strategic reasons.Again, such views confirm Orwell`s position that politicians do notthink about the words they use and that other people write most ofthese speeches for them. As such, Orwell advises the public not totake politicians seriously and warns them about their capabilities inmanipulating language to suit their selfish objectives.
Orwell, George.Politics and the English Language. New York: Penguin BooksLimited. 2013.
Farrar, Cynthia. TheVideo That Helps Explain Clinton’s Loss. 10.26.2016. Web.01.03.2017.