[Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.]-The First Amendment of the U.S Constitution.
[I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.]- The Oath of Office for President of the United States.
I don’t like “president” Donald Trump. I think he’s a lying, cruel and stupid man that has no business being president. I also think he’s a dangerous man. Dangerous on a geopolitical level and on a domestic level, threatening our American institutions and way of life. In the above paragraphs I copied the First Amendment of the U.S Constitution and the Oath of Office of President to show how Trump’s behavior doesn’t line up with either. Besides the demonstrated lying and incompetencies the “president” seems to be increasing his attacks on the free press.
We have a system of checks and balances in America. They involve the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government. There is also a fourth pillar that acts as a check on all three and is a direct service to the citizens and that is a free press. A free press is absolutely essential to a free society because ultimately elected individuals get their authority from the consent of the governed. The free press provides the necessary information to citizens so that they can hold their governments accountable. An uneducated and ill informed populace does not have the capacity to ensure a free society. No one and nothing benefits from not knowing and the press’s business is information.
When the President of the United States attacks the press by calling them fake news it’s not just meaningless words. It’s an outright attempt to delegitimize an important component of our democracy. Trumps attempts to undermine the press precisely mimics what a lot of authoritarian regimes around the world do. The “president” took an Oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and by attacking the press he is directly attacking the constitution itself and the American population. The effect is no different than if it were a foreign entity attempting the same thing. So in essence we don’t have a president that puts America first, what he have is a fake president engaging in domestic sabotage.
Fortunately there are solutions. Register and vote. Get others registered and make sure they vote. Write and call your elected officials and demand they do the right thing. Run for office and push back on all the lies this administration engages in. I believe our institutions are strong enough to withstand a Donald Trump but it’s going to take the collective effort of people of goodwill to ensure it survives. Everyone and every voice is needed. We have to be the agent of change that we seek.