Preface: This diary is in response to all those who call people who used to support Hillary Clinton, and are now going to vote for Barack Obama, "deadenders", simply because we refuse to rewrite history, we remember how this race unfolded, and we're not happy about it.
A few weeks ago, I took my son to the library, and while my wife was watching him, I looked for a couple books that might draw my interest this summer. I ended up picking out George Orwell's Animal, among others. Don't get me wrong, I had read Animal Farm before. However, I believe that was in high school when I read Animal Farm, and I'm now in my mid-to-late 30's. So, I figured I'd revisit a classic.
Well, after reading it again, and participating on MyDD since Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed Obama, I've noticed certain similarities between what happened in the book, and what has happened to the Democratic party.
Orwell's Animal Farm is described as follows:
Old Major, a prize-winning boar, gathers the animals of the Manor Farm for a meeting in the big barn. He tells them of a dream he has had in which all animals live together with no human beings to oppress or control them. He tells the animals that they must work toward such a paradise and teaches them a song called "Beasts of England," in which his dream vision is lyrically described. The animals greet Major's vision with great enthusiasm. When he dies only three nights after the meeting, three younger pigs--Snowball, Napoleon, and Squealer--formulate his main principles into a philosophy called Animalism.
Late one night, the animals manage to defeat the farmer Mr. Jones in a battle, running him off the land. They rename the property Animal Farm and dedicate themselves to achieving Major's dream. The cart-horse Boxer devotes himself to the cause with particular zeal, committing his great strength to the prosperity of the farm and adopting as a personal maxim the affirmation "I will work harder."
At first, Animal Farm prospers.... When Mr. Jones reappears to take back his farm, the animals defeat him again, in what comes to be known as the Battle of the Cowshed, and take the farmer's abandoned gun as a token of their victory. As time passes, however, Napoleon and Snowball increasingly quibble over the future of the farm, and they begin to struggle with each other for power and influence among the other animals. Snowball concocts a scheme to build an electricity-generating windmill, but Napoleon solidly opposes the plan. At the meeting to vote on whether to take up the project, Snowball gives a passionate speech. Although Napoleon gives only a brief retort, he then makes a strange noise, and nine attack dogs--the puppies that Napoleon had confiscated in order to "educate"--burst into the barn and chase Snowball from the farm. Napoleon assumes leadership of Animal Farm and declares that there will be no more meetings. From that point on, he asserts, the pigs alone will make all of the decisions--for the good of every animal.
Napoleon now quickly changes his mind about the windmill, and the animals, especially Boxer, devote their efforts to completing it. One day, after a storm, the animals find the windmill toppled. The human farmers in the area declare smugly that the animals made the walls too thin, but Napoleon claims that Snowball returned to the farm to sabotage the windmill.
He stages a great purge, during which various animals who have allegedly participated in Snowball's great conspiracy--meaning any animal who opposes Napoleon's uncontested leadership--meet instant death at the teeth of the attack dogs. With his leadership unquestioned (Boxer has taken up a second maxim, "Napoleon is always right"), Napoleon begins expanding his powers, rewriting history to make Snowball a villain.
Napoleon also begins to act more and more like a human being--sleeping in a bed, drinking whisky, and engaging in trade with neighboring farmers. The original Animalist principles strictly forbade such activities, but Squealer, Napoleon's propagandist, justifies every action to the other animals, convincing them that Napoleon is a great leader and is making things better for everyone--despite the fact that the common animals are cold, hungry, and overworked....
Years pass on Animal Farm, and the pigs become more and more like human beings--walking upright, carrying whips, and wearing clothes. Eventually, the seven principles of Animalism, known as the Seven Commandments and inscribed on the side of the barn, become reduced to a single principle reading "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." Napoleon entertains a human farmer named Mr. Pilkington at a dinner and declares his intent to ally himself with the human farmers against the laboring classes of both the human and animal communities. He also changes the name of Animal Farm back to the Manor Farm, claiming that this title is the "correct" one. Looking in at the party of elites through the farmhouse window, the common animals can no longer tell which are the pigs and which are the human beings.