I’ve been analyzing and critiquing conceptions of free expression since the 1990s when anti-domestic violence shelters started asking me about how it might be possible to construct policies that support trans* participants in shelter programs without punishing non-trans* participants for the everyday anti-trans hostility that most weren’t equipped to recognize. I’ve done it from multiple perspectives – activist, ethicist, and law student – and from a US focus to a Canadian focus to an international comparative frame. So I’ve seen this one coming for a while now. We’ve been close before, but now we’re there. Not just an enemy of the state, but the biggest, most threatening enemy of the state is freedom of expression, especially expression that is distributed through the power of the press.
Donald John Trump tweeted this this morning:
So funny to watch the Fake News, especially NBC and CNN. They are fighting hard to downplay the deal with North Korea. 500 days ago they would have “begged” for this deal-looked like war would break out. Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News so easily promulgated by fools!
Expect the US based Peterson and Harris fanboys and other general Freeze Peaches to celebrate or ignore this statement. For people that care about our rights and freedoms, however, this is the second worst statement the president could issue. For now, he identifies “our country’s biggest enemy” in the context of a call for mockery. The step from there to identifying “our country’s biggest enemy” in the context of a call for punishment is so dangerously small, I think few will recognize it when it happens.