Monday, February 27, 2017

“An enemy of the people”

The New York Times traces the history of the phrase “an enemy of the people.” Long story short: the French Revolution, an Ibsen play, Lenin, Stalin, and sometimes Mao. Roy Peter Clark recently wrote at greater length about Ibsen, Trump’s rhetoric, and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

And let us not forget Richard Nixon’s remark that “The press is the enemy.” “Write that on a blackboard one hundred times,” he told Henry Kissinger.

I’ll repeat what I wrote in a post about the slogan “America first”: Words have history. History has history.

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