Robert Reich: Trump’s ‘Leanings Are Toward Tyranny’


Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich warned on Democracy Now! today, “Donald Trump also does not have any understanding of a democracy. And if anything, his leanings are toward tyranny.”

“And by tyranny,” he explained, “I simply mean someone who absorbs the trappings of power but doesn’t understand that he, in a democracy, is a public servant. He is working for us, we are not working for him. And in many ways, Donald Trump seems to be indifferent, at best, to the democratic process.”

Reich recently wrote about the seven ways tyrants squelch speech. He points to all of these:

  1. Berate the media
  2. Blacklist critical media
  3. Turn the public against the media
  4. Condemn satirical or critical comments
  5. Threaten the media directly
  6. Limit media access
  7. Bypass the media and communicate with the public directly

He told Amy Goodman that Trump’s behavior towards the press exhibits all of this––”not the habit of a democratic—democratically elected president.”

And he insists this is different from others before Trump:

“We’ve never before had a president or president-elect who has taken the media on so directly and so negatively and tried to plant in the public’s mind… the notion that the press is the enemy itself. If the public doesn’t believe in a free and independent press, then we’re in a kind of fact-free universe, because––and also a president is immune from criticism. And I think that’s, consciously or not, what Donald Trump is seeking.”

You can watch above (the relevant part starts at the 25-minute mark), via Democracy Now!

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac