Mein Drumpf: Enemy of the People

in Opinion/Politics by

It took the Press only a few days
            to transform some ridiculously trivial matter
                    into an issue of national importance,

while vital problems were completely ignored
            or filched and hidden away from public attention.
                    When these cuttlefishes gathered together

in large shoals at meetings and congresses
            they would give out a lot of slimy talk
                    about the special honor which they called
                                    the professional honor of the journalist

then the assembled species would bow to one another.
            The Press is the chief means employed
                    in the process of “political enlightenment.”
                                    It represents a kind of school for adults.

This educational activist, however,
            is not in the hands of the state
                    but in the clutches of the powers
                                    which are partly of a very inferior character.

The Press succeeded
            in the magical art
                    of producing names from nowhere
                                    within the course of a few weeks.

By far the most effective branch
            of political education,
                    which in this connection is best expressed
                                    by the word, “propaganda,”
                                                is carried on by the Press.

They would poke their noses
            into the most intimate family affairs
                        and would not rest until they had sniffed out
                                    some petty item which could be used to destroy
                                                the reputation of their victim.

The scoundrel who defamed his contemporaries in this villainous way
            would crown himself with a halo of heroic probity
                        fashioned of unctuous phraseology and twaddle

about his duties as a journalist.
            These are the are the kind of beings who fabricate
                        more than two-thirds of what is called
                                    public opinion …

For the first time Nationalists and
            Patriots were turned
                        into rebels.

… the new Empire could choose only an Emperor
            who was of heroic mold and was therefore
                        worthy to wear the “Crown of the Rhine.”



Language is taken from an English translation of the the first four chapters of Mein Kampf and used in the order in which the words and phrases appear. Ellipses mark the places where content has been skipped over.


CNN’s Jim Acosta Returns to the White House After Judge’s Ruling [New York Times]
Trump slams the media as the ‘true Enemy of the People’ days after CNN was targeted with mail bombs [CNBC]

Michele Madigan Somerville is the author of Black Irish, WISEGAL and Glamourous Life (forthcoming this year). She studies religion at Harvard Divinity School.

Photograph by Joyce N. Boghosian.