Editorial: Truth will trump Trump

US President Donald Trump has done a lot of damage to his country and the world, and is still going to cause much, much more harm.

From fuelling bigotry to starting trade wars, undermining multilateral organisations and toying with the nuclear war, the list is endless.

High on his priority list in his project of dismantling the US’s democracy has been the destruction of the free press. On the campaign trail and since becoming president he has labelled the news media an “enemy of the people” and called journalists who do not suck up to him “very dangerous and sick”.

So successful has Trump been in damaging this central tenet of a constitutional democracy that recent polls have found about half of Republican voters now believe “the news media is the enemy of the American people” and almost as many believe he “should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behaviour”.

In response to this unprecedented onslaught, about 350 US papers penned coordinated editorials condemning Trump’s attacks. This effort, supported by others around the world, was initiated by the Boston Globe, which said in its editorial that threatening “this foundational American principle [of a free press] sends an alarming signal to despots from Ankara to Moscow, Beijing to Baghdad, that journalists can be treated as a domestic enemy”.

The New York Times said in its editorial that “these attacks on the press are particularly threatening to journalists in nations with a less secure rule of law”.

It is for this reason that City Press throws its weight behind this resistance against one of the most dangerous leaders in modern history. We do so out of solidarity with our US colleagues and also in support of journalists operating in countries run by despots who will be encouraged by the actions of this narcissistic crackpot.

Trump might delude himself that he can silence uncomfortable truths but he must know that rougher and tougher men – with bigger hands – have not triumphed against truth.