bumpy’s blues #18
There are a lot of policy proposals circulating these days that might go into effect but few of those proposals are as dangerous as the bama from Queens’ talking of changing the role of a free press in society.
Trump is an authoritarian and like Hitler and those before him would like to operate in secret, without oversight, and without being questioned. A king don’t want to answer for his transgressions; the king just want to make decrees and have you and everyone else obey. You think Assad in Syria briefs the media in that country about what he is doing or takes questions about spraying poison gas on his own people?
Dana Milbank pointed out today a subtle first move by Trump that folks should take note of and be ready to protest if necessary. Trump and his GOP flunkies helping him want to move the White House Press Corps out of the White House West Wing to what is deemed a larger space. This should be rejected and everyone involved knows how reckless this is.
Outgoing White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest calls close access of the press to the President and the White House “necessary for the success of our democracy.”
The free press is likely the most important component of this democracy. When that goes, everything else can go. Hitler used an emergency in Germany once he took over, to suspend the free press, and impose his authoritarian rule, stop all elections, and get on with his legacy of murder and death across Europe.
Yet, what is most suprising about the proposal to make the subtle shift of the press from close proximity to the President to somewhere else, are the comments in Milbank’s column supporting expulsion of the media from the spot they have worked in for over 100 years. Of course, many of the comments make the idiotic blanket statement about “fake news” and how the press is pushing propaganda (I guess the forget that is what the White House can do once there is no outside source of oversight) so throw them out. The reputable sources are most under attack.
It is beyond dumb and reckless.
But what I have learned since Trump has gotten elected is a lot of Americans are OK with authoritarianism just as long as the incoming President sticks it to the right people once he gets into office. Stick it to illegal aliens, Muslims, other people of color, and raise the banner of America high, which is really code for “white people.” Take us back to 1920, King Donny, when things were wonderful.
Anyone who doesn’t understand that didn’t see the election.
The German people got behind Hitler for this very same reason. They had been humiliated during WWI and they were subject to a treaty that further humiliated them. Hitler stepped into that void as economic conditions faltered and they embraced authoritarianism. Hitler gave it to them all.
In America, it isn’t that the economy is bad or that the country has been humiliated. It is that Barack Obama’s rise and success despite their complete resistance and hatred towards the man made authoritarianism look OK to them. Be damned with democracy. Be damned with free press. Be damned with anything. Just kick the black man out, and erase him from our history, like he had never, ever become President. Make things like they were once.
David Runciman of the London Review of Books wrote the following of America’s choice of Trump:
“It is sometimes said that Trump appeals to his supporters because he represents the authoritarian father figure who they want to shield them from all the bad people out there making their lives hell.”
The bad people are illegal immigrants, Muslims, persons of color who will be the majority in America one day, and of course, the free press reporting the facts each day about an authoritarian regime in the making. I know the wacko commenters on Milbank’s Post wall (article) don’t get it (or maybe they do). We can’t change them. But the rest of us better not sleep on this one. No free press = tyranny and repression, no matter where it is found. History on that one is clear. Disaster awaits if you don’t raise your voice.