Media in America Politics

Trump Vs. CNN: Fake News Or Fake President?

Let’s be perfectly honest: What we witnessed Wednesday when Donald Trump refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta and accused the network of being “fake news” was a window into the American brand of fascism Trump intends to try and impose on the United States.

Not since Richard Nixon have we seen an American president as adversarial to the media as Donald Trump is. He complains about how they cover him, the photos they use of him, the way they quote what he says. Trump thinks he’s perfect, so the mere fact that someone might disagree with that notion is a personal affront to him.

History As Guidebook

Can you tell me who wrote these lines?

“The Fascist conception is for the State; and it is for the individual in so far as he coincides with the State . . . . It is opposed to classical Liberalism . . . . Liberalism denied the State in the interests of the particular individual; Fascism reaffirms the State as the true reality of the individual.”

“Either the world will be ruled according to the ideas of our modern democracy, or the world will be dominated according to the natural law of force; in the latter case the people of brute force will be victorious.”

The first quote is often attributed to Benito Mussolini, though it was actually penned by Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile.

The second quote comes from Adolf Hitler, courtesy of his book Mein Kampf.

Ah, I hear some clucking, so you’re comparing Trump to Hitler and Mussolini, and that means you lose the argument because you pulled the infamous Nazi card. But stay with me for just a moment.

The War To Come

Many people fear Trump and his term in office because they are afraid he might start wars all over the globe, putting our troops in harm’s way as we descend into one quagmire after another. But that’s not the war Trump has in mind.

Trump is fond of saying he admires Russian president Vladimir Putin. Putin is an authoritarian strongman, and this appeals to Trump. If Putin wants something done, it gets done. Or else! If someone criticizes Putin, they are either arrested and placed in prison or assassinated. This idea is attractive to Trump, whether he admits it or not.

So where will Trump’s great war take place? Iran? Syria? North Korea?

None of the above. The war Trump hopes to spark will take place right here on our homeland. He wants to turn one group of Americans against another and then watch as they engage in battle. Consider what political philosopher Noam Chomsky said just this week regarding Trump and his use of propaganda. Trump and his lies function with:

“Little bits and pieces of truth scattered around, enough to base a post-fact world on. (Just enough to convince) maybe the most civilized and educated part of the world down to the utter depths of barbarism.”

What does that mean for us as citizens of a country that may soon operate like some dystopian nightmare vision straight out of Orwell’s 1984?

Trump may pretend to be a winner in all things, but one fact haunts him now and always will: He lost the popular vote by 3 million votes. Add to that the blatant interference by Russia and you see why so many are already saying Trump is an illegitimate leader. Fake news? Maybe it takes a fake president to hurl such an accusation; a classic case of psychological projection. This makes Trump dangerous, especially to those who dare to disagree with him.

Lies And Other Half-Truths

Allow me to leave you with one final quote which is instructive to recall each and every day that Trump is in office:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

That one, in case you didn’t know, comes from Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda.

What matters most now is how we react to what is yet to come. Do we cower, do we hide, or do we speak out and fight Trump with our ideas, our voices, and our humanity?

By Andrew Bradford

Proud progressive journalist and political adviser living behind enemy lines in Red America.

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