I remember Nixon’s “enemies list” – a list of people and organizations that Nixon considered to be major political opponents.
So I expect the new president – being far more paranoid and more sensitive to any criticism – to have an enemies list as well. And it would, of course, include anyone who is effective in either exposing the president’s shortcomings or stopping the president from doing what he wants to do.
We have now seen an acceleration in reports of past mistreatment of women by men in positions of power or influence. Roy Moore, John Conyers, Al Franken, Glenn Thrush, Charlie Rose, other reporters and commentators at NPR and Vox and ABC, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, George H. W. Bush. Even Bill Clinton’s history has been resurrected.
I expect more to come. And I expect that more than a few people are creating a plan to use this to Trump’s advantage.
A slow, steady release of accusations will keep the public and the press from staying focused on …
- the tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations,
- the destruction of the ACA,
- the budget cuts to Medicare and Medicaid,
- the selling off of national parks and public lands,
- the rollback of EPA regulations for clean air and water,
- carving up the internet,
- the redirection of education funds to private interests, and
- the undermining of people’s ability to vote.
Salacious. Titillating. Sleazy. And, of course, offensive to women. These stories are exactly the distraction needed.
And, as a bonus, they take down people and organizations on the president’s enemies list: reporters, Democrats in Congress, Republicans who oppose him, entertainers who mock him, anyone who speaks out against him. Each person gets branded and that discredits anything they say or do that opposed Trump.
Watch how this plays out.