Long ago I determined that Trump is not fit to be President. That assessment was mostly based on his vulgar behavior, hateful language, and xenophobic rants. I consider that un-American. But the thing that really scares me:
Trump is demonstrating an ominous contempt for the very foundations of our democracy. He is actively banning reporters who write stories he doesn’t like from covering campaign events. So far he has banned coverage by reporters from the Des Moines Register, Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Univision, Politico, and BuzzFeed. He even recently banned the Washington Post from coverage.
Why isn’t the media attacking this outrageous treatment? That abuse should be the headline in every newspaper and the lead story on every news broadcast as long as it continues. Is the press already too intimidated to challenge this clearly Un-American activity? Why hasn’t the Clinton campaign attacked him on it? Where is our own Dispatch on this important issue?
The first thing demagogues (Trump fits the classic definition) do to subvert democratic processes is attack the free press! If they can control what is written or broadcast they can “remake the mind” of the electorate to fit their own agenda. That is how Hitler and Mussolini took over otherwise democratic, though admittedly weak, governments. More recently we are seeing a similar strategy being implemented in Turkey under Erdoğan.
Trump appears to be using the same playbook. He is trying to enflame the darker emotions and prejudices of people against the media. He offers no detailed governance plans while facts and truth seem irrelevant in his mind. His aggressive rhetoric and behavior are frighteningly similar to those of the dictators who emerged in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s.
Freedom of the press is one of the cornerstones of our successful democracy, maybe the single most important one. Are we going to let Trump continue to get away with media abuse? If so we deserve what we get!!