Trump's version of Proclamation 1081 coming?

On September 21, 48 years ago, Philippine citizens were placed under martial law by President Ferdinand Marcos. The order, Proclamation 1081, was issued on this day in 1972.

The order, which was formally released two days later, effectively installed Marco, who was first elected President in 1965 and reelected in 1969, as the dictator for the next 14 years. Marcos was removed and exiled following the 1986 People Powers Revolution.

One of the supposed terrorist attacks Marcos used as a justification for the proclamation was an ambush of one of his top lieutenants, who was instrumental in the implementation of martial law, Juan Ponce Enrile. Interestingly, years later, Enrile admitted what many said at the time of the Proclamation 1081 that the ambush was staged to justify the order.  

Not surprisingly, one of the first things Marco did was order the closure of privately owned-media facilities that dissented from his practices. Like any self-respecting dictator, Marcos and his cronies understood the elimination of the free flow of information, and the news was essential is squashing dissent; and in the pre-internet days, newspapers and terrestrial TV and radio were how the information was distributed. 

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As noted on, Marcos understood "by shutting down competing voices and setting up a media outlet that was under his control, Marcos silenced public criticism and controlled the information that the people had access to. By doing so, Marcos had the final say in whatever passed for the truth."

Does the last sentence in the above quote remind you of anyone?  

Looking at the presidency of Donald Trump, one of the common traits he has with other dictators is his disdain of the media. Unlike Marcos, Trump has not shut down a media outlet - yet - but in a more sinister manner, has convinced enough of his supporters to deem anything that does not fit their narrative as fake news, to mistrust the press, and most significantly, to disdain facts.

With elections only 42 days away and ballots appearing in mailboxes soon, Trump has repeatedly told his followers if he does not win, it will be because it was rigged against him. And of course, while Trump attacks our election institutions and the post office, he has ramped up his attacks on the media in what could be a way to incite violence from his followers should elections results not go his way.

For the first time in every American's lifetime, there is serious talk about something that most people have never considered - there will not be a peaceful transfer of presidential power. Should a transfer of power occur, and it is not peaceful as it has been throughout our history, we will be entering unchartered areas.

Is Trump developing a crisis like Marcos did to instigate his followers to widespread civil unrest and thus declare martial law? Sadly, for the first time in the lives of all Americans, this is a possibility we must consider. 

Notwithstanding Trump's non-stop attacks on institutions like a free and functioning press and American societal norms, we possess a faith that our governmental institutions and the civil servants that make up our representative democracy have not been sufficiently decimated by the actions of Trump and that the people in these institutions understand they took an oath to the Constitution and not a person.

Nevertheless, Trump has shown he has no boundaries, so if he tries to pull his version of Proclamation 1081, don't be surprised.   
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