Donald Trump Lansing Rally Video Prompts '1984' Comparisons

A video edit played at Donald Trump's rally in Lansing, Michigan has prompted a raft of memes as well as comparisons to George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984.

As supporters waited for the president to arrive at Tuesday's event outside the Capitol Region International Airport, a guitarist performed the national anthem before the campaign video was played on two big screens.

People quickly took to social media to mock the short film, with many comparing it to Orwell's 1984 while others described it as "brainwashing" and "propaganda."

The video included several clips of Trump, beginning with an imposing close up of his face, overlaid with loud music.

donald trump campaign video
Supporters watch a video of U.S. President Donald Trump while waiting in the cold and rain for his arrival at a campaign rally at Capital Region International Airport October 27, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. Twitter users have compared the video to "1984" and Nazi propaganda. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In a voiceover, the president can be heard saying: "What really matters is not which party controls our government but whether our government is controlled by the people."

As he speaks, clips of figures like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are intercut with shots of factories, naval ships and air force jets as well as a shot of soldiers carrying a coffin and one of the EU Parliament Chamber.

Trump says: "For too long, a small group in our nation's capital have reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country. That all changes right here, right now."

Linkin Park's song In the End is also cut over the clips despite the band saying it had issued a cease and desist order to Trump in June over his use of the song in a video on Twitter.

Linkin Park did not and does not endorse Trump, nor authorize his organization to use any of our music. A cease and desist has been issued.

— LINKIN PARK | #HybridTheory20 (@linkinpark) July 19, 2020

In July, the band tweeted: "Linkin Park did not and does not endorse Trump, nor authorize his organization to use any of our music. A cease and desist has been issued."

Many Twitter commenters pointed out the band's previous condemnation of Trump using their song.

It came after Forbes reporter Andrew Solender shared a clip of the screening on Twitter with the caption: "Here's what they just played at Trump's rally in Lansing, Michigan."

He also added stills from the film in the tweet thread, saying: "I have... so many questions" and: "The easily recognizable symbol of global oppression that is the EU parliament chamber."

Here’s what they just played at Trump’s rally in Lansing, Michigan: pic.twitter.com/pEzLNUamjs

— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) October 27, 2020

The easily recognizable symbol of global oppression that is the EU parliament chamber

— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) October 27, 2020

Twitter users commented with comparisons to 1984, Nazi propaganda and The Hunger Games, with someone even joking that it "looks like a Galactic Empire recruiting video" next to a Star Wars stormtrooper meme.

One commenter wrote: "Just so we're clear: The president ripped off the two minutes of hate scene in the 1984 film, 1984."

Another said: "1984 Orwell was way ahead of his time!" and a third said: "I was scared of the year 1984 after reading the book back in the day. I never thought I'd live to see it come to life so many years later."

This looks like a Galactic Empire recruiting video. pic.twitter.com/MWJ77AB2aq

— ⚽️InFrankWeTrust⚽️ (@MrChelseaBlue) October 28, 2020

Just so we're clear: The president ripped off the two minutes of hate scene in the 1984 film, 1984. JFC pic.twitter.com/4QahUze47G

— Րυɱ૦Ր Һคς ɿ੮ 🏴 (@BrandiLynn4Ever) October 28, 2020

pic.twitter.com/hysNc7mLqe

— BklyngirlinBoca (@MelissaNocera3) October 27, 2020

Yikes culty Hunger Games 1984 energy is off the charts. There’s probably subliminal messaging in it too. It is so humiliating that this is our leadership.

— coco (@chloecrockett) October 28, 2020

Others shared comments like: "very Nazi," "kinda looks like a remake of Hitler's propaganda," and "Did Goebbels make that?"

One Twitter user said, "It feels very Panem, doesn't it?" and another wrote that the video "disturbed me on levels I cannot describe other than my jaw dropped, I thought 'this is propaganda like that of authoritarians.'"

"Not sure if I'm more frightened or confused. I just know I don't want to watch it again...," one commenter said.

What Trump said at the rally in Lansing, Michigan

The president arrived at the airport on Air Force One on Tuesday morning, walking across the tarmac to the podium without an umbrella, a gesture he said was in solidarity with the crowds who came to watch him speak.

He immediately boasted about rising in the polls in Michigan and Florida before attacking Democratic nominee Biden and arguing how his administration had done a good job tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: "Nobody's done for Michigan what I have, you have car plants being built all over, and you didn't have a plant built in 42 years.

"You have them all over. I tell Japan, I tell Germany, "No, we're not interested, go and build plants," and I always suggest to Michigan because I have to tell you, I think of cars, I think of Michigan.

"Seven days from now, we're going to win the great state of Michigan, and we're going to win four more years in the White House."

"Once again, Michigan is going to answer the call of history and show the world that sleepy Joe Biden, his dark money donors and his corrupt special interests, and by the way, there's never been anything like this," he added.

"He goes into a country and the family walks out with billions of dollars, millions and millions of dollars."

Donald Trump michigan
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at Capital Region International Airport October 27, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. A video played at the event has been compared to "1984" and Nazi propaganda. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump also complained that several media outlets did not cover his introduction of Amy Coney Barrett when she was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice on Monday.

He said: "We made history and we confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court, and Justice Barrett will defend our rights, will defend our liberties and our God given freedom. She's going to be fantastic and she's a terrific person."

Newsweek has contacted the Trump campaign and Linkin Park's representatives for comment.