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So now the chief occupant of the White House is accusing a congresswoman of fabricating her version of what he told the widow of a slain soldier, that he [the soldier] “must have known what he signed up for.”

Of course he tweeted this morning that he has PROOF to back up his claims about the fabrication.

In my early 20s, I taught teenagers in Austria. Together, we read Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell in German and English.

The teenagers, most of whom had never been outside Austria, took delight in teasing me, an American who has lived his life in both languages and cultures, about how Orwell’s world was really the United States. They would see the slightly embarrassed look on my face, listen to the mild surprise in my voice when I would explain how America is a vast and complex country that has done a lot of good for the world, that it was founded by highly intelligent statesmen who were champions of democracy.

And now we have our current president.