Trump Threatens Truthful Inquiry, Democracy

Donald Trump’s deplorable supporters will say his detractors take his tweets too seriously and the mainstream media, at least for now, will fail to envision itself as the primary opposition to the fascist takeover and presidential authoritarianism that the Trump regime represents.

But Trump’s most recent tweet storm attacking CNN and other “fake news” outlets (but not Fox News, of course) should alarm anyone concerned about freedom of the press and the First Amendment guaranteeing the right of free expression. Laugh it off if you will, and the mainstream media can parse through it with false equivalencies, but Trump, much like his Russian collaborators, is gradually but effectively casting doubt on all truthful inquiry in this country and throughout the world.

If the mainstream media cannot see itself and recreate itself as the opposition force to Trump and express that opposition in its daily news columns, then not only is it responsible for its own demise but also for the failure of democracy here if that failure does, indeed, happen, which everyone should be increasingly worried about. I guess The New York Times is just too busy normalizing white supremacists in its news columns to worry about democracy.

Trump, as we all now, describes virtually all major news outlets, with the exception of Fox News, as purveyors of “fake news,” a term he has used on his Twitter account this year at least 146 times. His most recent use of the term over the last couple of days or so was based on his ongoing criticism of CNN. Here are the two operative tweets to which I refer:

Note the reference to FoxNews, and how the world “does not see the truth from” CNN. Note as well, the sweeping generalization about how the “Networks” but “not including Fox,” are “dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me).” The lies and hubris in these statements are appalling and, frankly, represent a serious threat to our democracy because of the power of the person issuing the statements. By repeating this type of misinformation constantly, Trump is using a crass but effective strategy in sowing discord in our communities. Say it enough and people will start to believe it.

What I personally find disheartening is that people trying to speak truth about the Trump threat are designated as extremists while Trump and his supporters get every benefit of the doubt as the mainstream media bends over backwards to seem fair to fascist-accepting people who are never going to watch their broadcasts or subscribe to their newspapers in the first place. Many of these people are racist, filled with hate and armed with assault weapons.

Let me cite one of those “extreme” views here that doesn’t get enough credence. Fox News functions right now as a state-operated news operation that is disseminating lies on a daily basis to empower a dangerous and corrupt presidential regime. It is opposed to democracy and promotes a racist view of the world.

The question still remains whether this country’s democratic institutions can survive the Trump presidency. I have a bleak outlook about it right now. Who cares what special counsel Robert Mueller finds in his investigation—by now it’s obvious the Trump regime colluded with the Russian government to try to sway the election—if the legal system won’t prosecute Trump appropriately or the Congress won’t impeach and remove him from office? That not only could happen, it’s entirely likely.

The vast majority of people who voted for Trump could care less the man is a liar and malignant narcissist. In fact, they celebrate these traits in the man they so adore.

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