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GOP Trump Opposer Jeff Flake Has Compared Trump To One Of History’s Greatest Villains

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“When you have an administration that added the term alternative facts to the lexicon, then we have something different. In the speech, we have added the importance of calling the real things real and the fake things fake. And how damaging it is to have this term fake news around the world that authoritarians everywhere have adopted it and will dismiss their opposition.”

Senator Jeff Flake spoke these words in an interview conducted by Kasie Hunt. Flake is right in that using a term such as alternative facts is dangerous in that politicians can use it to brushstroke their opposition as “distorting facts.” And this reasoning resonates with some listeners. After all, many are distrustful of the news, so when a leader reinforces suspicions someone might already have, it makes for a powerful message that they can use to bend listener’s minds to his or her will.

During the interview, Hunt brought up the speech Flake had where he compared Trump to Josef Stalin. Flake responded with, “Trump borrowed the phrase popularized by Stalin by calling the free press the enemy of the people. I don’t think we should be using a phrase that another Soviet dictator rejected as too loaded.”

Flake again is right. Trump, since he announced running for president, has positioned the media as villains that are trying to derail his presidency. In some regards, Trump does have a legitimate beef in that the press overplayed its hand by being hypercritical, but anyone who wants to become president in this day and age should also understand that it’s a tough job filled with scrutiny–Fox News was constantly critical of everything Barack Obama did.

Moreover, Trump’s crusade against the media seems convenient. This was the same media who devoted tons of coverage to Trump during his presidential campaign due to him being “must watch TV.”

So, Trump’s message again comes out of both sides. He used the media’s exposure to gain momentum in the presidential election and he used people’s distrust of the media to lend credence to his agenda. It was a masterful stroke, but it can also become dangerous because labeling all media as “enemies of the state,” means a president doesn’t have checks and balances. They don’t have to answer questions; they can do whatever they want and this unchecked power is dangerous.


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