Think about the politics of the moment. There's a divisive president whose management skills are…
And here comes our new president, Donald J. Trump. He has called on the carpet the bosses of news media and journalists and whipped them for writing stories that he believes are erroneous. The meeting was in secret but I imagine Trump laid out some threats. Mr. Trump wants news organizations to come to heel. After all, this guy has narcissistic personality disorder. He wants praise and has a very hard time handling criticism.
You know about his hot temper. Remember all those vicious, lunatic tweets?
Add to that his many threats to loosen libel laws to make it easier to sue those he would accuse of libelous speech, and you have a chill settling over the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.
When the president speaks, he can cause the world to tremble. He has ways to persuade news organizations to be nice to him. The prospect of Mr. Trump using the power of the presidency to threaten and intimidate the press should frighten you. It is the free press, after all, that forces government officials to be honest. If the press weren’t looking over their shoulder and investigating, many people in government would be inclined to engage in mischief.
Mr. Trump doesn’t want a free and independent press looking closely at his activities. Voters in the United States of America elected a liar, a charlatan, a con man, a thief and a sexual assaulter, to the highest office in the land. You can believe Mr. Trump will use his office to benefit his companies at taxpayer expense. I expect he will also sexually assault women when he’s alone with them. Being president makes it easier.
Your freedom to express your opinion is in danger. You (still) have the right to be heard, to share your stories, to object to governmental overreach and to empathize with others of like mind. You (still) have the right to organize with anyone you choose and present your argument to the public and government. I put the word “still” in parentheses because jack-booted authoritarians like Mr. Trump would love to be able to press the mute button to shut you up.
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