In a very disturbing foreshadowing of what a possible Trump presidency would look like, TIME photographer Chris Morris was brutally choke-slammed to the ground by security at a Trump rally in Radford, Virginia. Recorded by DC Examiner reporter Gabby Morrongiello, it is a clear illustration of how Trump’s rally more resemble a wrestling match, entirely devoid of any kind of political discourse but are rather elaborate shows of mass emotional manipulation and naked demagoguery.
— Sam Biddle (@samfbiddle) February 29, 2016
— Gabby Morrongiello (@gabriellahope_) February 29, 2016
A few minutes prior to this attack, Trump announced that he wants to “change the laws to make the press be honest,” which is an obvious repudiation of the First Amendment and a deeper descent into fascist authoritarianism. Press intimidation and the systematic assassination of “dissident” journalists is a repressive tactic widely employed by Trump’s hero, dictator Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation. It is deeply alarming that we are already seeing these kinds of incidents before Trump is even elected.
Trump hates the media because a fair portion of journalists who still do their jobs call him out for his incessant lies and constant flip-flopping, eternally ungrateful for the hours of free coverage that the mainstream media gives him. Trump has now proposed not just one but several policy changes that directly violate the Constitution, and it is hard to see how a Trump presidency would not be almost immediately end on impeachment charges. Far from “protecting freedom” as his campaign promises, Trump represents a direct threat to the freedoms our nation was founded on and the Constitution of the United States. A vibrant free media is the keystone to a healthy democracy; should Trump win the election, we can assume that will come to a quick end.
Donald J. Trump: “We’re going to get the laws changed so that the press has to be honest.”
Posted by POLITICO on Monday, February 29, 2016
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.