You heard right. In a recent Ipsos poll, forty-three percent of Republicans think Donald Trump “should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior,” and a whopping forty-eight percent think, “the news media is the enemy of the American people.” Thankfully, the rapacious Republican cretins in Congress have yet to encode such idiocy into law, and until they do, we have a thing or two to say about that.
After a brief experiment in trying lamely to climb down from it, the “president” has once again taken to referring to the entire media as “the enemy of the people.” His base, that unlovely collection of caged chimpanzees, have predictably taken it up in a mindless cacophony of screeching and throwing of their feces.
There is something uniquely pathological about an ideology that has spent so much of its political life mounting a casus belli over the Second Amendment that it would so insouciantly jettison the First. But that is what fear does, and never is the will of the shivering coward more readily molded than when that shivering is at its most pronounced. And yet a man who spent most of his life as a punchline – rewind a few years and remember this is Donald Trump we are talking about – so effortlessly manipulates their fear.
So where in the name of hell does this political ideology entombed in fear – homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, paralytic at the notion of going to their favorite Wal-Mart without a sidearm leather-strapped to their thighs – get off calling us snowflakes? Since when does a party deriving its ethos from old cowboy movies require the intervention of the federal government to preserve their quivering violets from shrinking further? The sad reality is the party conceived in the shadow of Honest Abe has shrivelled into the brainless parroting of Dishonest Ape, while the Freedom of Speech enshrined in American Democracy itself hangs in the balance.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.