2 March 2017
When I was in high school, back in the sixties, I had a history teacher who compared the people living in the United States not to a melting pot, but to a tossed salad. He believed that the melting pot scenario created an inseparable mix with each individual ingredient being lost to the whole. While with the salad analogy, each component remained unique. The lettuce retained its distinctiveness while the tomatoes and other ingredients preserved theirs. The one thing that the individual components did have in common was the bowl.
Today there are over three hundred million individuals living in the United States. We represent a multitude of ethnicities, races, languages, and beliefs. Although our nation is spread over the lower forty-eight, Alaska and Hawaii, the one thing that we have in common, our bowl, is the Constitution.
The Constitution unites us as a nation and is the handbook of our democracy. It established our government, explains how it is to be run and defines our rights as citizens. Unlike the melting pot where identities are lost to the whole, this document unites us as a people but respects our individual differences
Because of our diversities, our perspectives or viewpoints are not the same. The first amendment endows us with the freedom to express our differing views, and guarantees us an independent press that is free from government interference.
Recently these first amendment rights have been under attack. The perpetrator of this offence is the leader of our nation.
The President seems to believe, because he occupies the Oval Office, that he has the right and the power to limit our access to information with which he disagrees.
His attack on the news media not only undermines the first amendment, but is a slap in the face to every American. His actions reveal contempt for our citizenry and his apparent belief that “we the people” do not possess the intellectual ability to determine fact from fiction for ourselves.
The president apparently does not understand his job. The Constitution does not grant him carte blanche powers. He is not the minister for public enlightenment and propaganda nor is he the Chief of Censorship.
He is a servant of the people, all the people, protector of the Constitution, whether he agrees with it or not, and Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces, which means he is responsible and accountable for all military actions during his presidency.
In the United States the news media represents a multitude of different ideas from diverse perspectives. It disseminates information vital to the preservation of our democracy. It is the cornerstone of our republic.
Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are inexorably linked. If the President is successful in his attempt to muzzle our free press and establish a state propaganda bureau by cultivating a close relationship with media outlets that are favorable to his beliefs, it will be only a matter of time before our individual right to express divergent points of view will be terminated as well. Con