Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Free Press Or Fascism

One of neo-fascist sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump's most serious attacks on our democracy is his false and malicious attacks on the free press, which he believes should only report "nice" things about him, malignant narcissist that he is. CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent and Beltway villager Leslie Stahl rather belatedly revealed a conversation she had with Rump shortly after the election, where he made clear (to no sentient person's surprise) that he undermined the press to advance himself:
The “60 Minutes” reporter recalled what happened when she and her boss met with the then president-elect at Trump Tower after he eked out a surprise win in late 2016. Trump eventually started bashing the press in front of them.

“I said, ‘You know, that is getting tired. Why are you doing this? You’re doing it over and over. It’s boring and it’s time to end that,’” Stahl recounted in a talk with Judy Woodruff of “PBS Newshour” at the Deadline Club event, which honors excellence in journalism.

“And he said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so that when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you,’” she continued.
(emphasis added)
Too bad that Stahl was shocked shocked! that gambling was going on in Rump's casino. After all, scholars who have studied the rise of dictatorships have noted that one of the stages in their development is to "manipulate the hearts and minds of your citizens":
"One of the first actions of any aspiring dictator should be to control the free flow of information, because it plugs a potential channel of criticism. Turn the media into a propaganda machine for your regime like Hitler did and Erdogan does now."
With a cowardly, corrupt party-before-country Congress sticking with him, and the despicable organs of right-wing media acting as cheerleaders, Rump feels empowered to threaten democracy and the rule of law, despite the clear evidence of his corruption and treasonous foreign entanglements, of nepotism and of the merging of his private interests with Government's. A quote from someone that Rump may have admired in his day is instructive:
"Democracy is talking itself to death. The people do not know what they want; they do not know what is the best for them. There is too much foolishness, too much lost motion. I have stopped the talk and the nonsense. I am a man of action. Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day."
Rump would like to see that, and that's why we have to defeat him and his proto-fascist movement, in the media, in the pursuit of justice, and at the polls.

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