Since then, it has become more sinister as a weapon of demagogues and dictators and those who cast a wide net to entrap anyone they see as an obstacle to their objectives.
It was during the French revolution that its full force and its sinister purpose seen.
The words " ennemi du peuple" were extensively used . On Dec. 25, 1792 Robespierre stated " the revolutionary government owes to the good citizen all the protection of the nation; it owes nothing to the Enemies of the People but death" ( Wikipedia), and many would die after so branded, even Robespierre himself. Included in the political crimes punishable by death were those " spreading false news to divide or trouble the people"( here you can glean the reason for Trump's use of the phrase, against the mainstream media and its reporters.)
In the Russia " vrag naroda" ( Wikipedia) was used by Lenin on Nov.28, 1917, calling for " enemies of the people" to be arrested and brought before the revolutionary court ( enemy of the laborers; enemy of the proletariat, class enemy ).. This phrase was widely used in the Soviet Union and hundred of thousands were killed or sent to the " gulags".
Mao used it in 1957, against " social forces and groups that resist the socialist revolution" and hundreds of thousands died or were " reeducated"
Nazi Germany used it in its plan to RELOCATE Jews to Madagascar " in former times sane people and sane leaders of the peoples made short shrift of the Enemies of the People. They had them either expelled or killed" ( Wikipedia) ( millions would be relocated and murdered).
In the UK , in the aftermath of the referendum on membership of the EU, the Daily Mail, described judges who ruled that leaving would require the consent of the British Parliament, " Enemies of the People".
In the United States, Trump has picked the usage, " the FAKE NEWS media ( nytimes, abc, cbs, cnn, nbc) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people". He has been beating this drum incessantly . Each day that goes by is replete with tweets about the " fake news " and " enemies of the people". It is self serving, dangerous and a threat . He does this to deflect and detract from the reporting on the various investigations on Russian hacking; on possible collusion; on his various relationships with women, who were paid to be silent on their affairs with him; on the people leaving his Administration; on those closely connected to him, who have been found guilty of various crimes and to rouse up and keep his " base'/ of support.
This phrase " enemy of the people" is once again being used to perpetuate divisions; to further ones agenda, either to wrest power or to hold on to power or to be a tool to cast doubts about crimes that may have been committed, or to dull attempts to expose wrongs. It has been used in the Spanish Inquisition; in the Salem " witch trials"; in the French Revolution; in the MC Carthy " witch hunt"; in Nixon's "Watergate' and now by Trump. In all these cases its use has been iniquitous, perfidious and malicious.