The Politicus

Create | Share | Influence

Seven ways to restore our press freedoms before we end up with another Republican dictator

2 min read
Donald Trump’s time in office was defined by death, destruction, disarray, and multiple attacks on democracy. Yet we must never forget that Trump’s legacy also includes an evil milestone, reached in 2018, when the United States, for the first time ever, ranked among the top five deadliest countries for journalists. For context, other “top” nations were Afghanistan, Syria, Mexico, India, and Yemen. This was the same year that Trump first called the press “the enemy of the people.”

Though 2020 and the Trump administration are in our rearview mirror, the situation has gotten even more dire. Disturbingly, the number of journalists killed worldwide in 2020 doubled from 2019. We have to remember that a free press was viewed as so important to our foundational democracy, it was the only profession the Founding Fathers named in our Constitution. It’s the best, last hope against tyranny, which is exactly why authoritarians hate it so much. Trump’s purposeful attacks on the media not only encouraged violence against journalists in this country, but gave regimes elsewhere a blueprint to crack down on their own press. Dictators, from Bashir-Al Assad to Prince Mohammed bin Salman, used the Trumpian term “fake news” to justify their own violent attacks on journalists who attempted to hold them accountable. The junta in Myanmar is using a similar argument to justify shutting down internet access amidst a coup.

There were so many abuses of power the past few years, Trump’s attacks against the media became background noise. After his failed presidency came to its end, CNN tried to chronicle Trump’s most egregious acts, and his attacks on the press didn’t even warrant a mention. Although Trump left many messes that need to be cleaned up, our First Amendment protections must be given a high priority. Fortunately, there’s plenty of things that President Joe Biden, and everyone, can do to help to strengthen those protections. It’s vital for the next time we face an authoritarian leader who may have a shred more competence than Trump.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The Politicus is a collaborative political community that facilitates content creation directly on the site. Our goal is to make the political conversation accessible to everyone.

Any donations we receive will go into writer outreach. That could be advertising on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit or person-to-person outreach on College campuses. Please help if you can:

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Available for Amazon Prime