When Trump and his campaign (Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.) announced their intention to sue CNN this past October for the network’s so-called anti-Trump bias, I documented at the time how this was just the latest example of the extreme steps Trump was willing to take to void the First Amendment.
Trump’s self-declared war against the news media, or as he likes to call it, the “Enemy of the American people,” began during his 2016 campaign when he promised to “open our libel laws” to make it easier to sue the media “and win lots of money” — a threat he renewed in January 2018 — so his CNN lawsuit isn’t all that surprising.
What is surprising is how the cult ignores this threat to the Constitution and continues to defend Trump. According to some of the feedback I’ve recently received, Trump is a “true conservative” and “the media IS the enemy of the American people.”
Nazi Germany’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, is surely looking up and smiling. He adopted Hitler’s “Big Lie” technique (Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.) to sway the masses against the Jews, and he is the one who declared that the “Lügenpresse” (lying press) was the enemy of the German people.
Yes. I made a Nazi Germany reference. It’s history. Learn from it.
Ironically, Trump’s multifaceted attack on the media usually includes the use of his own brand of fake news or “alternative facts,” as Kellyanne Conway once called it when she defended him for lying about how the crowd at his inauguration was “the largest ever.”
Based on an August 2017 Economist/YouGov poll, Trump’s anti-First Amendment rhetoric is bearing fruit as an overwhelming majority of Republicans said they favored Trump over the media. Additionally, roughly half of them favored fining the media or shutting them down for reporting what they consider biased reporting.
While the threat Trump poses to the Constitution is clear to anyone not drinking the orange Kool-Aid, another unpleasant consequence resulting from his “Fake News” propaganda machine is beginning to reveal itself within the dwindling number of conservatives still out there.
As Garry Kasparov explains, “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”
The point of modern propaganda isn't only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) December 13, 2016
This exhaustion can be heard these days when conservatives say things like “I’m so over Mueller” or “I’m so over impeachment.” And you can hear the annihilation of truth when they make statements like “Sure, Trump and the GOP are bad, but Democrats are worse. Let’s vote Republican so we can at least preserve what little remains of our Republic.”
The premise to being a conservative is that our values and principles matter. When that premise is gone, conservatism will die. Trump doesn’t care about that, but we should.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative.