I never dreamed I’d find myself in agreement with former US President George W. Bush on any issue whatever, but I see that we’re united in our antipathy to Donald Trump’s demonization of major sectors of the US media as ‘fake news’ and ‘enemies of the people’.
Admittedly Bush didn’t go so far as to brand Trump an ‘enema of the people’, as I did in a recent rant, but nor did he pull his punches.
In an interview on NBC’s Today, he declared that a free press is indispensible to a democracy, as it is necessary to hold those in power to account.
‘Power can be very addictive and can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power,’ he added.
However, I fear that the enema of the people himself is in no mood for platitudinous lectures by former presidents, as he’s busy ramping-up the amount of power that’s available for him to abuse.
Trumpeting his intention to seek a ‘historic increase’ of $US74 billion to the United States’ already world-beating military budget of around $US600 billion in order ‘to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it,’ he omitted to explain this dire need.
Leaving us all to guess whether it’s the threat from China that he has in mind, or from his erstwhile buddies in a resurgent Russia, or Islamic State.
But the US already, in its allegedly ‘depleted’ military state, has far and away the most powerful war-machine on the planet. So maybe this surging splurge is more about the greater aggrandisement of President Trump and the further enrichment of his cronies in the military-industrial complex.
Or, in other words, precisely the kind of abuse of power that independent media, along with a political opposition and an independent judicial system, are essential for preventing an enema of the people from getting away with.