www.torontosun.com/2017/02/19/sweden-terror-attack-what-has-he-been-smoking-swedes-confused-by-donald-trump-claims-in-saturday-rally). As predicted, the president seems hell bent on making lies such a fixture of his public face, one has to believe that he has two strategies engaged. One is to make the public "numb" to his constant lies (leaving him immune from further attacks) and another to convince his supporters who have checked their brains at the door that as president, he alone is not to be questioned or criticized (recall senior advisor Miller's comments a week ago, "The president is not to be questioned!" (See: www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/trump-adviser-stephen-miller-says-the-presidents-power-will-not-be-questioned/2017/02/13/0f772184-f14f-11e6-9fb1-2d8f3fc9c0ed_video.html). Yet, neither strategy is healthy for our democracy.
From calling out the media on Twitter as "The enemy of the American People" to using fake terror attacks to promote his tough stance on refugee assistance, Mr. Trump continues to denigrate what actually made America great in the first place. But like Trump, I am sure that some are also willing to say, "Hey Rubin, there YOU go again!" Being mindful of Mr. Trump's first strategy, we must never fall into complacence when the rhetoric from the president and his White House is to bank on it. We must never get used to being lied to by our leaders, never! And we should never allow ourselves to put our guard down when attacks are being made against the liberties guaranteed in our Constitution. This is exactly what Mr. Trump is attempting to do - to divide us along ideological lines so that his message will resonate with his dedicated followers. Case in point. At his last Florida rally (the campaign has ended for most Americans but to Trump, the adulation of crowds seems to be the only thing that satisfies the man's huge and delicate ego), he called upon a supporter to speak to his adoring crowd. Except the guy, Gene Huber admitted to the crowd that he salutes and prays before a large cardboard cut0out of Trump. And this is considered normal? (See: thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/320307-trump-supporter-who-he-invited-on-stage-salutes-cardboard-cut). Somehow I don't think the Framers thought too highly about someone in the future idolizing a cardboard cutout of a president without understanding that this president does not believe in the Constitutional freedoms guaranteed to the media. If this isn't "over the top", I don't now what is!
We have had presidents rail against a media that has been unfriendly to their administrations. Even Andrew Jackson engaged his old friend Francis Blair to come to Washington to start a newspaper (The Washington Globe) solely to provide propaganda in support of the president's policies. But no president has attacked the American media as somehow an "enemy of the American People" as Trump has. Is this simply hyperbole from a president attempting to sway the American public towards his policies? Yet, how can it be when the president has not articulated any real tangible policies to support or oppose? Instead, a strategy is being employed to somehow discredit the media so no one will heed its collective call when abuse of our liberties is underway. Anyone recall the words of Richard Nixon at the height of the Watergate Scandal? He said "The press is our enemy!" Sound familiar? Yet, the role of the Media, protected in our Constitution has been embraced in the past. Abraham Lincoln once wrote; "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts." But what are real facts when we have an Administration that continues to lie about matters that are demonstrably false? One can only guess it is his strategy to immunize himself with his loyal supporters who will believe him despite their own personal knowledge otherwise. Which is a tried and true attribute of an authoritative figure. Even President George W. Bush weighed in and has criticized Trump for his attacks on the free press. “I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,” Bush said. “We need an independent media to hold people like me to account." "Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive and it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse power, whether it be here or elsewhere,” he added. (See: www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/02/27/george-w-bush-critiques-trump-on-travel-ban-free-press/?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_bush-1130a%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.be19c227fd92
So without quoting Thomas Jefferson on his view of a necessary media (already done in many other publications), I leave you with this quote from Benjamin Franklin; "Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom - and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech." So let's keep reminding ourselves, Liberty and Freedom require a Free Press and those that attack it, are certainly a danger to America! Have a great week!