This week, we were treated to a terrifying glimpse into the future under Republican President Donald Trump. After a bizarre and unhinged press conference where the President openly attacked the media in a series of incoherent rants, Trump took to Twitter yesterday to declare our free press an “enemy of the American people.”
Such words are obviously reminiscent of the rhetoric of fascist dictators and have no place in our democracy. They are a flagrant rejection of the Constitution’s First Amendment that guarantees us free speech and free press and are a violation of the oath he swore on inauguration day.
But even louder is the deafening silence coming from the Republican Party, who spent the past eight years accusing President Obama of violating the Constitution at every turn but now have nothing to say as Trump openly tramples our founding principles under his tiny heels.
Legendary journalist Dan Rather took to Facebook today to express his frustration with the gallery of deplorable hypocrites and morally vacant frauds that currently control our government:
I have resisted commenting on President Trump’s outrageous attack on the press with his tweet calling the media “the enemy of the American people.” It is a sentiment that is a deep betrayal of our national history. The evidence to the contrary is so overwhelming that to choose any one example is to play into the alternate reality Mr. Trump is seeking to exploit for his cynical political purposes.
My message is not for he who will not listen. Instead I wish to address his enablers, specifically those in the Republican Party who by their silence on this travesty normalize a behaviour that is antithetical to our Constitutional principles. Future generations will not look kindly on profiles in cowardice.
And to my fellow journalists, I know you will not be bullied or intimidated. Keep doing your job. Your country depends on your service. Courage.
Perhaps even coward is too kind. Cowardice implies that it’s not their fault, that there is an inherent fearfulness within them that they cannot overcome.
This is a very deliberate decision and a choice that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have made. They have made it clear they are willing to piss on every value our nation holds dear and dance with Cheeto Hitler while the nation burns around them, all so that they can gut the social safety net and deprive twenty million Americans of affordable health insurance.
They have no excuse.
They can’t even hide behind the ersatz shield of the so-called “conservative values” they pretended to adhere to for so long and casually discarded at the drop of a hat.
They pilloried Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information but now turn a blind eye to the pernicious stench of treason emanating from the Trump camp and are silent as he conducts classified national security discussions surrounded by South Florida millionaires.
They shut down the government and wasted $25 billion in taxpayer dollars over a fabricated “debt ceiling crisis” under President Obama but voted to raise it by ten trillion dollars as soon as Trump was in power.
They claim they need to repeal Obamacare and throw our health insurance to the predatory jackals of the “free market” but say nothing when Trump bullies companies for not doing what he wants and casually suggests provoking a trade war with Mexico because “they took our jobs!”
They cannot hide behind false ideology or empty patriotism any longer. They have sold out the American people and sold their souls to an orange devil, worshipping the unholy trinity of Celebrity Apprentice Ratings, inauguration crowd size, and electoral college victory margin.
We must make them pay for this betrayal.
Colin Taylor is the 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.