I sat down at my desk just now to work on a book I’m writing. I started thinking about Donald Trump’s attacks on the free press in the United States and the relationship between our free press and our democracy and I found myself pulling up my blog to write this article because this is important. Once again, a disclaimer. Don’t read this if you are thin-skinned, if you can’t see both sides of an issue. Only read it if you are disturbed by the video that Trump tweeted today that shows violence toward one of the news networks, CNN. Only read this if you think that this was patently wrong and illustrated the President of the United States advocating violence. Thinking more about it, maybe you should read it anyway. Feel free to say whatever you wish in the comments.
The comment was made earlier in the week that Donald Trump denigrated the Office of the President of the United States by his low-blow attacks on the co-hosts of the show “Morning Joe” on the cable news network MSNBC. He didn’t just do it once, but a number of times. My questions about his attacks are two-fold: Doesn’t he have anything better to do with his time than watch Cable News, like work on U.S. policy or prepare for the G-20 summit and his meeting with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin? and second, Is Donald Trump ignorant to the fact that the existence of a free press is necessary if a country is to have a democracy? I was under the impression he had advanced degrees from some pretty good schools. That begs the question of whether Trump has yet another agenda. We’ll get to that later.
A couple of days after he first trashed the Office of the President with his big, nasty mouth, Trump posted his video on Twitter that was particularly violent regarding CNN. This is where Congress should draw the line. Where is Congress? Having a nice Fourth of July weekend? Really? The anniversary of our Independence? One would think that the members of Congress would realize that our way of life and our form of government is at risk because of this man who is taking up space in the White House. I stated earlier that it is necessary to have a free press in order to have a democratic form of government? Perhaps Trump is interested in an authoritarian form of government where he is the “end-all, be-all” dictator? He is so insecure and has such a low sense of self-esteem that he keeps having to have even his Cabinet praise him and he constantly refers to the fact that “he won” the election (like we don’t know that).
He has set up his inner circle like a dictator (or a king) with his family at the core and a member of the disgusting publication, Breitbart, an alt-right, white supremacist publication as his right hand. That is extremely similar to what a dictator would do since he would be unwilling to trust others. Steve Bannon, of Breitbart, obviously has a great deal of influence over Trump.
Trump first trashed the judges who first stopped his travel ban. He ordered the Senate Majority Leader to use the nuclear option to get his Supreme Court nominee confirmed. Now, he has ordered the 50 states to turn over the voter records and confidential voter information to a commission he created. The last time I heard, 29 out of 50 states had refused. He doesn’t use Congress as a legislative body. He uses Executive Orders. All of these actions, and more, are hallmarks of an authoritarian President. Then there is the fact he has shut down White House daily briefings, for the most part.
Why does he fear the press? Because they expose these actions to the American people. He fears the press because he is afraid the American people will become wise to his actions. Without the press, there is no democracy. Look at Russia and other authoritarian governments. They have no free press.
Does Donald Trump have an agenda concerning the press besides whining about his image? I’ll let you be the judge. My answer to that question is an unqualified yes and it is to fundamentally change our form of government.