President Trump... (I just threw up a little in my own mouth typing that) is using some rather blatant, textbook fascist style strategies that we all should be tremendously concerned about. Chief among them has been his handling of the media, or rather his efforts to control it, since the beginning of his campaign, and now into his Presidency.
Step One: Demonize. Turn the public against the media, berate them, call them liars, say things such as...
“You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”
"lies, deceit, viciousness, disgusting reporters, horrible people..."
"they're scum, absolute scum, remember that..."
"I am not running against Crooked Hillary Clinton, I'm running against the crooked media."
Trump seems to be a pathological liar in every sense, and when reputable media outlets call him out on those falsehoods he perpetuates, he calls them liars and dishonest. His press secretary and advisors offer "alternative facts" further entrenching his supports against the "disgusting reporters."
Step Two: Restrict. Limit media access, do not hold press conferences, do not allow the press to travel with you, do not let the press know whom you are meeting with. Trump's phone call after the election with Vladimir Putin was first reported by the Kremlin, not a single US news outlet knew of it. Let that sink in a minute.
Threaten to pull the press from the West Wing, shut down questioning from news organizations you deem "fake news," push your narrative and attack those who don't play along. Control the headline.
Step Three: Threaten. During his campaign Trump threatened to sue the New York Times after an article ran about his alleged assault of multiple women, then threatened to sue a second time for an article that released parts of his tax returns. Trump has said he wants to "open up" libel laws so he can more easily sue news organizations.
"I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected," Trump said, both demonizing and threatening in one motion.
Step Four: Circumvent. Bypass the media entirely, communicate your propaganda to the public directly, post videos directly to social media, tweet constantly, hold large rallies instead of press conferences, allowing you to continue to push your agenda to the public unimpeded by journalists. To my knowledge, no president elect in the history of this nation has ever made a victory lap around the country before, and that should frighten all of us.
Tyrants will always attempt to control the media, and while Trump has been in office for less than a week, he seems intent on doing just that. The only way to stop this demagogue is to inform yourself. Read the news, not the facebook headline. Demand answers not sound bytes. Seek the larger truth, not the 4am tweet.