Several times during his stay in the White House Donald Trump has used the phrase, “enemy of the people.” He has aimed it at his own security agencies, against all Democrats, who he now insists hate Jews, and against the media of record, which he insists is fake.
Recently Trump again raged against the New York Times, calling it the enemy of the people for an article that comes even closer to proving he has used his executive office powers to further obstruct those investigations probing deeper into his own misbehaviors.
Designating something or someone as an enemy of the people is a common tactic of any and all authoritarian governments such as Putin has rebuilt in Russia and Trump is attempting to build in America. Following one of Trump’s fake news/the enemy of the people rants, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough claimed that the statement, enemy of the people, which was frequently used in Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union to get rid of dissidents, was ironically banned by Stalin’s successor, Nikita Khrushchev, as being too dangerous.
Throughout much of the world, democracy is falling out of favor and is being replaced by authoritarian nationalistic alternatives. A sure sign is the rise of the phrase, enemy of the people. For people to willingly surrender their rights they must be persuaded that their security is being threatened. Threatened by some common enemy.
To make the case of a common enemy it helps to foster a strong sense of nation, a strong sense of nationalism. Putin in Russia long ago convinced his nation that the nation’s interests came first and that those who disagree, the dissidents, were the enemy. Donald Trump, a self-professed and avowed nationalist is working on the same here in America. He insists that our future is tied to a policy of America First and he has fought hard to convince his followers that a free press and brown skins are the enemies of the people.
Since I began this piece two things have happened to strengthen what I’m saying and what I strongly fear will happen in America. On March 18, 2019, Putin signed a law that outlawed expressions of disrespect against the state (government) and made publication of items that are “knowingly false” illegal. At about the same time China has taken forceful actions to crack down on anything resembling Islam. The government claims that Islam is incompatible with socialism and Muslims need reeducating, forcefully if need be.
These are both examples of suppression of basic human rights in the name of they were threats against the people, made scarier in that Trump seems to so much want that kind of power for himself. Remember that describing the North Korean dictator he admired how the Korean people sat up and listened when Kim spoke. He also said he wished he had that kind of power.
If you think Trump wouldn’t do such things, you’re wrong, Just consider the threats he’s made against Saturday Night Live for making fun of him. More than once he has claimed the power of the judicial system should be used to take the satire out of satire.
What kind of a nation will we have if the American people can’t tell the emperor he’s butt ass naked?