mcmorgan + trump   6

Trump’s Comey tweet was one of his most terrifying lies yet.
My parents let me watch the Cuban Missile Crisis unfold on The News at 6:00 and 10:00 pm. I watched the Watergate investigation live on network tv all summer. I watched the news reports with death tolls from Viet Nam every evening. I even saw Oswald shot live on a b&w tv. This is scarier because it is Trump going nihilist.

> It’s difficult to describe the feeling of seeing the president of the United States lie, in the moment, about ongoing events and testimony.
> ...

>This, in the end, is what’s so disturbing about his Monday afternoon tweet. It’s another sign of Trump’s basic contempt for the idea of an independent, observable reality that stands as a baseline for his actions. That reality is how you hold politicians accountable; it’s why the press is vital to a free and healthy democracy. But Trump sees no advantage in accountability, no reason to honor the truth or even gesture toward its existence. Both he and his White House have made a conscious decision to destabilize public discourse, to fracture and undermine common understanding. President Trump isn’t just lying to the American people; he’s saying, almost openly, that the truth just doesn’t matter either way.
rhetoric  trump 
7 days ago by mcmorgan
Trump Embraces One Of Russia's Favorite Propaganda Tactics — Whataboutism : NPR
Rhetoric is *always* about policy.

> But whataboutism extends beyond rhetoric, said Dmitry Dubrovsky, a professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. "It's not only a narrative practice; it's real policy," he said. "For example, the Russians installed a special institute to cover the violation of human rights in the United States."
epistemology  politics  rhetoric  trump 
11 days ago by mcmorgan
Donald Trump and the Enemies of the American People - The New Yorker
How to define the enemy as anyone who challenges power

> an old-fashioned autocrat wielding a very familiar rhetorical strategy.

> all follow a general pattern. They attack and threaten the press with deliberate and ominous intensity; the press, in turn, adopts a more oppositional tone and role. “And then that paves the way for the autocrat’s next move,” Simon told me. “Popular support for the media dwindles and the leader starts instituting restrictions. It’s an old strategy.” Simon pointed to Trump’s lack of originality, recalling that both Néstor Kirchner, of Argentina, and Tabaré Ramón Vázquez, of Uruguay, referred to the press as the “unelected political opposition.” And, as Simon has written, it was the late Hugo Chávez who first mastered Twitter as a way of bypassing the media and providing his supporters with alternative facts.
trump  politics  rhetoric 
5 weeks ago by mcmorgan
Trump’s America, where even park employees have become enemies of the state | Sarah Kendzior | Opinion | The Guardian
A consideration of Trump's alternative facts and their rhetorical use. They make any poster of facts an involuntary dissident.

> What Americans have learned is that our system of checks and balances is so weak that even parks employees can become enemies of the state. They are learning their rights as they lose them, grieving for what they once took for granted. Fear is matched by incredulity that hundreds of years of imperfect democracy could cede into autocracy with such ease. Trump’s win was followed by debate over what it means to live in a “post-facts” world. This was a fatuous debate: if facts did not matter, then Trump and his team, whose threats of punishment and litigation long preceded his official lock on power, would not work so hard to suppress them. The idea of a fact always mattered – it simply had to be the Trump administration’s facts that counted. Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway, made this blatant last weekend when she stated that the administration would proffer “alternative facts” that justified its political aims.

> America has become a country of involuntary dissidents, where those who seek to stay employed respond to illusions with allusions. (“If you’re part of a group that’s paid to applaud, you’re a ‘claqueur’,” Merriam-Webster dictionary slyly tweeted after Trump’s CIA visit, which allegedly included an entourage who clapped on command.) The media are “the opposition” and should “keep its mouth shut”, according to Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon. But in a digital age, where it is increasingly hard to classify who counts as “the media”, anyone who seeks to inform the public is potentially under attack.
rhetoric  trump  politics 
8 weeks ago by mcmorgan
The Music Donald Trump Can’t Hear - The New Yorker
The New Yorker weighs in on authoritarianism in the 21st century: "at that terrifying first press conference of Trump’s, on Wednesday, we saw the looming face of pure authoritarianism. Rewards are promised to the obedient: those good states that voted the right way, the “responsible” press. Punishments are threatened to the bad: “They’re going to suffer the consequences!” Intimidation is the greeting to any critic. And look! There’s a claque alongside to cheer the big boss and deride his doubters. This is what was once called Bonapartism: I won and I can now do anything I choose. Victory, however narrow, is license for all. Autocracy, after all, has always been compatible with plebiscitary endorsement. The point of constitutional government is to make even the victors subject to the rules."
politics  authoritarianism  trump 
10 weeks ago by mcmorgan

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