You think it could never happen in America that D.Trump could shut down the media he deems hostile and suspend our Constitutional rights. But it has happened in the past and it happened under more than one president.
President Adams in 1798 in response to a French threat had his Alien and Sedition Acts. One Federalist in Congress declared, there was no need to “invite hordes of Wild Irishmen, nor the turbulent and disorderly of all the world, to come here with a basic view to distract our tranquility.” It was described as: “No protesting the government? No immigrants allowed in? No freedom of the press. Lawmakers jailed? ”
President Lincoln: “On April 27, 1861, President Lincoln, fearful that Southern troops might overtake the capital, suspended the writ of habeas corpus and declared martial law in Maryland. . . . On May 26, 1861, Chief Justice Roger Taney, sitting circuit, ruled that Lincoln had acted unconstitutionally — only Congress could suspend the Great Writ. Lincoln ignored the order and continued to seize and hold adversaries without a hearing”
There’s more: “In March 1863, Lincoln appointed Gen. Ambrose Burnside to be the Union commander overseeing Ohio. In executing his duties, Burnside assumed the power to define lawful dissent. By his measure, any criticism of the president was treasonous. . . . Burnside went after anti-war protesters, most notably a former Ohio congressman, Clement L. Vallandigham. . . . [who called the war] “wicked, cruel, and unnecessary.” . . . Burnside then had Vallandigham arrested and charged him with uttering “disloyal sentiments and opinions, with the object and purpose of weakening the power of the Government in its efforts to suppress unlawful rebellion. The former congressman was convicted by a military tribunal and was sentenced to “close confinement” until the end of the war. . . . Later, Gen. Burnside issued another order, # 84, which provided: “ On account of the repeated expression of disloyal and incendiary sentiments, the publication of the newspaper known as the Chicago Times is hereby suppressed.””
Later Lincoln being displeased by two newspapers which printed what D.Trump would call fake news “ordered the two newspapers closed and their owners arrested and imprisoned. The Independent Telegraph System, which had transmitted the story, was seized by the military and its transmissions stopped.”
Lincoln was an educated man who read often and is considered one of our most brilliant presidents; imagine the same powers in the hands of D.Trump.
President Wilson: “A printable World War I article which appeared in the New York Times some four months after the American declaration of war reported that the United States Government was obligated to close all newspapers and magazines that called into question any effort to prosecute the war or support the British or French governments. The New York Times reported that the government was granted this power under “Title 1,section 1, 2, and 3 of Title 12 of the Espionage Act” (signed by President Wilson on June 13, 1917).”
Keep in mind none of these prior presidents had called the media “the enemy of the American people” but they still sought to curb freedom of press and shut down and arrest newspaper people. The Courts did nothing about it; Congress abetted it with legislation.
With Adams the French threat eventually subsided and the populace calmed down although in the late 1840s and 1850s an anti-Irish Catholic political party known as the Know Nothings came into existence which makes one shakes his head hearing Irish people demonizing newcomers to the country.
With Lincoln the prohibitions vanished with the end of the conflict; with Wilson within a year and a half after America’s entry into the war an armistice came about ending the fighting for the most part. Some American troops battled on in Russia.
When you have a war that does not end. When you have a D.Trump who not only does not teeter on the edge of truthfulness but wallows in the nadir of lies. When you have him unlike no other U.S. president defining the enemy as the media. When he can point to precedent during a “national emergency,” fake or otherwise, to muzzle the press which he has labeled a danger to America . Expect, as his first act after declaring the emergency the shutting down of all opposition press. This will be the beginning of the end of our democracy.