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Trump is just a symptom of America’s illness

23 2 29
22.09.2018

NEW YORK – Last month, more than 300 American newspapers colluded — if the word fits — to simultaneously publish editorials declaring themselves, contra Trump, not “the enemy of the people.” Shortly thereafter the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution declaring that it too did not consider the press to be, in a phrase that evokes the rhetoric of the former Soviet Union, state enemies.

The Boston Globe organized this journalistic flash mob.

“The greatness of America is dependent on the role of a free press to speak the truth to the powerful,” the Globe’s editorial board wrote. “To label the press ‘the enemy of the people’ is as un-American as it is dangerous to the civic compact we have shared for more than two centuries.”

President Donald Trump has repeatedly derided the media as “the enemy of the people” and purveyors of “fake news” on Twitter and at campaign rallies.

The First Amendment guarantee of press freedom, the Globe wrote, “has protected journalists at home and served as a model for free nations abroad. Today it is under serious threat.”

Is it really?

The surprise election of Trump has elicited more the-sky-is-falling handwringing than any other political event in my lifetime (I’m 55). Very Serious People have warned in Big Important Newspapers that the rise of Trump harkens the transformation of the United States, and other Western democracies, into fascist states. Even before he took office, the American Civil Liberties Union called Trump “a one-man constitutional crisis.”

No doubt, Trump’s rhetoric evokes the president’s authoritarian instincts: deriding his foes as anti-American, calling for and ordering mass deportations, supporting torture, and yes, press-bashing showcase........

© The Japan Times