Yesterday, Donald Trump called the press “the enemy of the American people.”
Today, without using a word of her own, J.K. Rowling, as she does so often, explained the facts about a free press to Donald Trump and his Republican supporters.
All she had to do was quote President Theodore Roosevelt’s words that “To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President right or wrong…is morally treasonable to the American public.”
From 'SEDITION, A FREE PRESS, AND PERSONAL RULE May 7, 1918'
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) February 18, 2017
If Donald Trump, a draft dodger, thinks he is entitled to more esteem – and greater latitude in the exercise of his powers – than a war hero like Theodore Roosevelt, who put his life on the line for his country, then he has a lot to learn.
The free press is enshrined in the Constitution. The president’s unlimited, “unquestioned” powers in the words of Stephen Miller, are not. That is because the Constitution does not grant the president unquestioned powers. His word is not law. He is subject to the law just like every other American.
Donald Trump seems to be confusing democracy, where political power derives from the will of the people, with Adolf Hitler’s Fuhrer Principle, where the Fuhrer’s word is literally the law, and where dissent is treason.
Of course, this is exactly what Donald Trump said when he called the media “the enemy of the American people.” A sentiment right out of the Fuhrer’s mouth. Or that of any Russian dictator. Trump’s pal Vladimir Putin comes to mind.
As Trump ghostwriter Tony Schwartz told The Independent last year:
“On day one he would end a free press. In any way that he could, he would use the government to shut down a free press, and listen, he has plenty of precedents for doing that, including his hero Vladimir Putin.”
And so he has, with barely a murmur of protest from Republicans, eager to push through that long-delayed conservative agenda.
It is understood that certain members of Trump’s administration seem more comfortable with Hitler’s model, but it should not be left to an English author to explain this very American principle to an American president.
Trump has been spanked publicly yet again, and a very shameful thing it is.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.