“[R]ight now, the press has a lot of questions to ask of you and your administration”


You, sir, are a dangerous person. After the latest events of yet another week of conflict and chaos surrounding you and your surrogates inside the White House, you have lost all credibility. Have you watched how badly you performed during your televised interview yesterday with Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News? Have your read your transcript of your interview with The Economist magazine? You can’t make this stuff up, yet …

To tweet that the “fake media is working overtime” and “as a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!” are very pompous and arrogant things to say. Remember, Mr. President, asking questions is exactly what a free press in a representative democracy is supposed to do – and most do it pretty well – and, right now, the press has a lot of questions to ask of you and your administration. Time for you to get your facts straight.

By the way, while on the subject of accuracy, you, sir, did not come up with the phrase “prime the pump.” It goes back to before you were born! If you think you made it up, as Robert Reich, suggests, “your narcissim is fabulous.” Finally, as Reich noted this morning, “fabulous is a word that has been used since 1658. You didn’t make that up, either.”

Michael Dickens

Listening to NPR last week, I heard Sen. Dick Durbin D-IL) refer to the President as “dangerous.” Think about that for a moment…because Sen. Durbin is spot on. The President of the United States, the most powerful man in the free world, the man with the nuclear codes, is a dangerous, narcissistic despot and demagogue. He’s a threat to democracy, to the rule of law, to compassion, to virtually everything good and right about this country.

He sees himself as above the law and accountable to no one. He’s decided that because he believes the Russia-Trump campaign investigation to be baseless he’s going to shut it down. His firing of FBI Director James Comey was- in his own words- an attempt to do exactly that.

In his mind, he and he alone gets to decide what’s “real news” and what’s “fake news.” There’s little doubt but that he defines “fake news” as anything which fails to paint him in the glorious white light of unvarnished adulation and acclaim.

I can handle arrogant. I can handle pompous. I can even handle self-righteous. None of those things are unusual in Washington, DC. The problem begins when you combine all those things in a President of the United States whose business motto was (no joke) “Screw them before they screw you.” With a deep-seated insecurity and the conviction that every slight- no matter how minor- must be immediately addressed and returned three-fold, this President is incapable of sober reflection and careful consideration. He’s impetuous, impulsive, and immature. In a world where sanity holds sway, Donald Trump wouldn’t be allowed to manage a lemonade stand…much less have access to the nuclear codes.

It’s like what P.J. O’Rourke once described as giving liquor and car keys to a 16-year-old boy- what could POSSIBLY go wrong?

Tweeting “fake media is working overtime” only demonstrates his failure to understand the fundamental bedrock principles of American democracy. A free press is crucial to holding public officials- yes, even (especially) the President- accountable. It’s the job of the media to ask questions. That sometimes those questions might be uncomfortable should probably be taken as an indication you might not be handling things properly.

That would take a degree of self-awareness and humility Donald Trump simply doesn’t possess.

No President gets to decide how the 1st Amendment is applied. No President should be allowed to threaten reporters who are merely doing their job. No President gets to determine how he’s covered, nor should he have control over the tone and tenor of that coverage. To allow that would be to accede to the (probably not so very) slow death of democracy.

If the past four months have shown anything, it’s that Donald Trump poses a clear and present danger to American democracy. The question for Congress and the American people is how long his instability and dangerous incompetence will go unchallenged. How much longer can we afford a President more committed to petulant, self-absorbed fascism than the trappings of democracy? When will we recognize and resolve to address the threat this President poses to our freedom and liberty?

Or is America’s Lowest Common Denominator © so enamored of their hero they simply don’t care?

Nice work, America.

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