For reasons that can only be guessed at, Donald Trump is in an especially foul mood this weekend. That has manifested itself primarily as ever-escalating attacks on the free press, repeating in multiple tweets charges that the “Corrupt News Media” is “without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
Among his attacks, Trump accused the New York Times of committing a “virtual act of Treason” in reporting that the United States is increasing “Cyber Attacks on Russia,” adding in a second tweet: “ALSO, NOT TRUE!”
…..news is that at the end of 6 years, after America has been made GREAT again and I leave the beautiful White House (do you think the people would demand that I stay longer? KEEP AMERICA GREAT), both of these horrible papers will quickly go out of business & be forever gone!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2019
It again needs to be said that this is not normal or acceptable behavior. Using the office of the presidency, Trump has maintained a steady campaign of rhetoric accusing the free press—specifically, whatever outlets have last published stories on him and his presidency that he doesn’t like—of being the “enemy” of the nation, charges that continue to stoke violence against political journalists. At best, he does not appear to care that this targeting of the press is resulting in violence; at worst, that is his intent.
This continues to be a betrayal of his office, and his apparent inability or unwillingness to restrain himself continues to be plain evidence that he is dangerously unfit.
His idle musing that perhaps “the people” might “demand” that he remain president after two terms, however, is yet another manifestation of his narcissistic delusions. In Trump’s own mind he is both wildly popular and transcendentally accomplished, able to make America “GREAT” again through sheer force of will; it then stands to reason, he presumes (or, at least, declares) that any reporting to the contrary, in any venue, is a conspiracy against him. He is not right in the head. He is stoking violence, seemingly on purpose. He is manipulating bigotries as means to power; he is using that power primarily for self-promotion and self-enrichment.
It is not normal, it is not acceptable, and as the Republican Party rallies around his delusions and vigorously defends even his provably criminal acts it continues to metastasize into something very close to fascism. Using the office to declare journalists to be enemies of the state is right now, today, doing extraordinary harm to our democracy. Republicans, however, continue to be silent.