Trump’s Bizarre Usage of the Term “Enemy of the People”

Trump’s Bizarre Usage of the Term “Enemy of the People”
by dianeravitch
Trump has embraced terminology that has long been stigmatized.

In his Inaugural Address, he boomed out his endorsement of “America First!” Did he know the historical use of that phrase? Did he know that it was used by isolationists in the late 1930s who wanted America to stay out of the war beginning in Europe? Did he know of its association with isolationism and anti-Semitism? Did Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, who allegedly wrote the speech, know?

Now he refers to the free press as “an enemy of the people.” Journalists who criticize him are vendors of “fake news” and thus “enemies of the people.” The New York Times says the phrase was frequently used by Stalin to demonized opponents as “enemies of the people.”

“The phrase was too toxic even for Nikita Khrushchev, a war-hardened veteran communist not known for squeamishness. As leader of the Soviet Union, he demanded an end to the use of the term “enemy of the people” because “it eliminated the possibility of any kind of ideological fight.”

“The formula ‘enemy of the people,’” Mr. Khrushchev told the Soviet Communist Party in a 1956 speech denouncing Stalin’s cult of personality, “was specifically introduced for the purpose of physically annihilating such individuals” who disagreed with the supreme leader.

“It is difficult to know if President Trump is aware of the historic resonance of the term, a label generally associated with despotic communist governments rather than democracies. But his decision to unleash the terminology has left some historians scratching their heads. Why would the elected leader of a democratic nation embrace a label that, after the death of Stalin, even the Soviet Union found to be too freighted with sinister connotations?”

Does Trump know that he is echoing the terminology of Stalin? Has anyone told him?

dianeravitch | February 26, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Categories: Accountability, Ethics, Freedom of the Press, Trump | URL: http://wp.me/p2odLa-gD0

Diane Ravitch's blog

Trump has embraced terminology that has long been stigmatized.

In his Inaugural Address, he boomed out his endorsement of “America First!” Did he know the historical use of that phrase? Did he know that it was used by isolationists in the late 1930s who wanted America to stay out of the war beginning in Europe? Did he know of its association with isolationism and anti-Semitism? Did Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, who allegedly wrote the speech, know?

Now he refers to the free press as “an enemy of the people.” Journalists who criticize him are vendors of “fake news” and thus “enemies of the people.” The New York Times says the phrase was frequently used by Stalin to demonized opponents as “enemies of the people.”

“The phrase was too toxic even for Nikita Khrushchev, a war-hardened veteran communist not known for squeamishness. As leader of the Soviet Union, he demanded…

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