Lenin, Stalin, and the rest—used the term vrag naroda, an “enemy of the people,” it was an ominous epithet that encompassed a range of “wreckers” and “socially dangerous elements.” To be branded an enemy of the people was to face nearly inevitable doom; such a fate was soon followed by a knock on the door in the middle of the night, a prison cell, the Gulag, an icy ditch—a variety of dismal ends.
To be called an “enemy of the people” did not mean you had to hold oppositional thoughts or commit oppositional acts; it only meant that the dictator had included you in his grand scheme to insure the compliance of the population.
Robespierre, one of the architects of the Jacobin Reign of Terror, set out to “horrify” the opposition, and his instruments were the epithet, righteousness, and the blade. “The revolutionary government owes to the good citizen all the protection of the nation,” he said. “It owes nothing to the Enemies of the People but death.”
Once in power, Lenin was far more brutal than the revolutionary French. He built the first outposts of the gulag archipelago. Stalin, Lenin’s energetic successor, expanded the system from western Russia to the Sea of Okhotsk, ten time zones to the east.
Now Donald Trump, the elected President of the oldest democracy on earth, a real-estate brander and reality-TV star, has taken not to Pravda but to his own preferred instrument of autocratic pronouncement—the tweet—to declare the media “the enemy of the American People.”
For months, cool, responsible heads have been counselling hot, impulsive heads to avoid overreacting to Trump. We must give him a chance. We must not in all our alarm compare him to all the tin-pot dictators and bloody authoritarians who have disgraced history.
Sadly, none of this was written by me, but by David Remnick, the editor of “The New Yorker.” A brilliantly written piece of journalism. The New Yorker is only one of the magazines and newspaper that Trump attacked in one of his many senseless tweets.
Now is the time to show loyalty and to the free press. Journalists, newspapers and TV stations are under attack.
Take the New Yorker for instance -one of my favorite websites to go to when I want to read a well-written piece of information, or when I need a good laugh about the times we live in. Only $6 and you get online access for 12 weeks as well as home delivery. “Read something that means something.”
The article ends on a serious note
In the meantime, the New York Times and the Washington Post are engaged in a ferociously competitive battle to cover this new Administration that has bolstered the forces of fact and truth, and no one has shut off their computers or phones, either. At CNN, Jeff Zucker, the network president, has gotten telephone calls of bitter complaint from Jared Kushner about the coverage of his father-in-law, but if the performance of Jake Tapper and others there is any indication, the attempt to intimidate CNN has not deflated any spirits. The journalists at Mother Jones, MSNBC, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, NPR, The National Review, the Marshall Project, ProPublica, and many other outlets are doing their work with determination and seriousness.
Source: The New Yorker (Please read the full article, it’s brilliant)
We need to support the free press. Many online news websites offer specials these days. Just 99 cents provides us with full access for up to 3 months. It’s money well spend! I agree with John McCain who said, “Our free press is essential to a healthy democracy.” I am glad he spoke out and I hope many (on both sides of the aisle) will follow.