Tom Fulks

Who will be the next ‘enemy of the people’?

Tom Fulks
Tom Fulks

Trumpsters of San Luis Obispo County, if you believe “the media” are your enemy, you’ve swallowed the tweeter-in-chief’s bait.

Asserting the news media are “enemies of the American people,” so-called President Donald Trump’s tweet parrots Joseph Stalin’s diktats and apes Nero’s “hostis publicus” (enemy of the public).

American presidents always complain about the press, but none so menacingly as Trump, who exhibits a disturbing disrespect for American values, a rank contempt for our Constitution.

Despots throughout history have created “enemies,” undesirables and scapegoats to divert attention from their treachery.

Today’s target: “The media.” Tomorrow’s?

In typical Breitbart-ese, would they be libtards, Demtards, snowflakes, cucks, queers, “illegals,” Jews, Muslims? Anyone refusing fealty to Trumpian gangsterism?

More disturbing is that so many in San Luis Obispo County so fulsomely support this dangerous demagoguery.

Why? Nagging uncertainty about Trump’s legitimacy?

He’s a minority president, lost the popular vote, likely was aided by Russia and lost San Luis Obispo County by 8 points.

Do local Trump apologists harangue The Tribune on its Facebook page to assuage their angst-inducing insecurity?

Reacting as if slapped by an Associated Press fact-check of Trump’s hallucinatory press conference, local Trumpsters snapped.

“I laugh in your face now that the shoe is on the other foot you bunch of tree hugging liberal’s (sic).”

“Leave it to this liberal rag to run a piece that glorifies Obummer’s failed policies!”

“Enough about Trump from my local news. … I will seriously turn you off if you publish more than one idiotic leftist propaganda piece per day.”

The Tribune’s conservative pundits — syndicated columnists Kathleen Parker, Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks — soured on Trump based on his actual words and deeds.

Like Trump, his local flock rejects facts, demonizes its own truth-tellers and demands more strident, ideology-based media voices.

They’d prefer The Tribune to carry “alt-facts” from Alex Jones’ InfoWars and Milo Yiannopoulus? Probably.

First Amendment illiteracy appears mandatory for some Trumpsters, apparently unable to understand the press is democracy’s constitutionally enshrined defense, purposely protected by America’s founders as pickets against the kind of ill-begotten authoritarianism they seemingly crave.

Spineless Republican leaders supinely play along. They relish Trump’s venality today yet, predictable as the tides, they’ll come to regret it eventually.

Imagine Hillary Clinton lip-locking Vladimir Putin like Trump. Visualize Clinton’s campaign and White House in “frequent” contact with Russian spies. Envisage Clinton self-dealing personal income from government contracts via private commercial holdings.

Picture the outrage had “President Clinton” insulted our closest allies, encouraged Russian aggression and inked lucrative “trademark” deals with China reeking of quid pro quo.

She’d be impeached as Trumpsters rejoiced “Lock her up!”

This intense hostility toward “media” affords cover for Trump and his Republican collaborators to do things that would land any other president in the street, if not prison.

Weirdly, loathing of Trump’s detractors, “real” news and facts transcends Republicans’ traditional antipathy for Russia and other established “enemies” of America.

In fact, new opinion research shows Trump supporters today agree more with Russians than Americans in their views of global affairs.

You, Trumpsters, are a minority — here in San Luis Obispo County and nationally — yet you and Trump declare hostilities on the rest of us.

That leaves the majority little choice but to vigorously defend our time-honored American values of honesty, decency, duty and country.

I needn’t remind you of the mendacities Trump has inflicted upon our nation, staining our national honor, turning us against one another.

Trumpsters, don’t forsake your own history, the Constitution, common civility and what Jesus would do.

Know that the news media and majority opponents are as patriotic as you. The American flag is ours, too. We’re as versed in the Constitution and Bible as you, if not more.

You, Trumpsters, hypocritically abide Trump’s amorality and welcome the wickedness he’s beset upon our great nation. You own it all.

There’s still time to change, to crack a history book — difficult as that might be — to learn about the First Amendment. (It’s before the Second for a reason.)

Study the Republican Party’s relationship with the John Birch Society, the Red Scare and its centurylong fight against communist imperialism.

Download “Dr. Strangelove” for an iconic satire on what the extreme right supposedly believes.

Trumpsters, don’t allow your hatred of “the media” and majority of voters to override your own long-standing values, beliefs and faith.

This outlaw regime will end, sooner or later.

Trump collaborators among Republican leaders will be held to account. Those who put party above country will be reproached.

You know how this will end. Don’t take the bait.

Liberal columnist Tom Fulks, a former reporter, serves on the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Central Committee. His column runs in The Tribune every other Sunday, in rotation with conservative columnist Andrea Seastrand. Follow him on Twitter @TomFulks.