When Lenin took power he said: “all leaders of the Constitutional Democratic Party, a party filled with enemies of the people, are hereby to be considered outlaws, and are to be arrested immediately and brought before the revolutionary court.” That party had a large representation in the Russian Duma which Lenin dissolved.
The Soviet Union made extensive use of the term. It was applied at one time or another, according to Wikipedia, to “to Tsar Nicholas II and the Imperial family, aristocrats, the bourgeoisie, clerics, business entrepreneurs, anarchists, kulaks, monarchists, Mensheviks, Esers, Bundists, Trotskyists, Bukharinists, the “old Bolsheviks“, the army and police, emigrants, saboteurs, wreckers (вредители, “vrediteli”), “social parasites” (тунеядцы, “tuneyadtsy”), Kavezhedists (people who administered and serviced the KVZhD (China Far East Railway), particularly the Russian population of Harbin, China), those considered bourgeois nationalists(notably Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Armenian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian nationalists, Zionists, Basmachi)”
Enemies of the people could be: “lmprisoned, expelled or executed, and lose their property to confiscation. Close relatives of enemies of the people were labeled as “traitor of Motherland family members” and prosecuted. They could be sent to Gulag, punished by the involuntary settlement in unpopulated areas, or stripped of citizen’s rights. Being a friend of an enemy of the people automatically placed the person under suspicion.”
Nikita Khrushchev noted: “Stalin originated the concept ‘enemy of the people.’ This term automatically made it unnecessary that the ideological errors of a man or men engaged in a controversy be proven. It made possible the use of the cruelest repression, violating all norms of […] legality, against anyone who in any way disagreed with Stalin, against those who were only suspected of hostile intent, against those who had bad reputations … The formula ‘enemy of the people’ was specifically introduced for the purpose of physically annihilating such individuals.”
Hitler’s Nazi magazine speaking about the Jews said: “in former times sane people and sane leaders of the peoples made short shrift of enemies of the people.” Joseph Goebbels referred to Jews as “a sworn enemy of the German people” Hugo Chavez also used the term. Robert Mugabe speaking of the people involved in the Movement for Democratic Change said: “There cannot be unity with enemies of the people.”
No democratic leader has ever used the term before Trump. Think of that. Duly elected leaders do not libel their fellow citizens.
Look at the company Trump has put himself in: Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mugabe, Chavez. After meeting in Helsinki with Putin Trump tweeted: “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media.” He continues up to yesterday when he tweeted: “The Mainstream Media has never been as corrupt and deranged as it is today. FAKE NEWS is actually the biggest story of all and is the true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE! That’s why they refuse to cover the REAL Russia Hoax. But the American people are wise to what is going on….. 4:20 AM – 20 May 2019″
Who ever thought the day would come when an American president would call fellow Americans the same name as used by Stalin and other cruel dictators? Even the Soviet Union stopped using the term after Khrushchev came into power. It is left for Trump to revive. It is a term that is alien to America with its First Amendment guarantees.
The use by the president is plainly disgraceful. It is a sad state of affairs we find ourselves in as Americans when the president sets one group of us against the other. Slowly, but inexorably, he is turning our nation into a dystopian state.