Trump’s Attack On Democracy

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What happened the other night in Portland, Oregon should have all Americans who believe in the Constitution, Freedom, and Democracy outraged and frightened. Please do not divert the subject by speaking about “riots”. That is an issue that is addressed by local and state authorities, not the Federal Government.  The President does not seem to care about the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

The Fourth Amendment says, “The right of the people to  be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Having Federal agents, wearing police insignia without identification of person or office arresting people without warrants and taking them away in unmarked vehicles is a clear violation of both the Fourth Amendment and their oath to uphold the Constitution; it is, by its very nature, an assault on American freedom and democracy. Without a warrant and an authorized jurisdiction of policing, these actions are kidnapping.

Let me be very clear. What happened is what occurs in totalitarian dictatorships, such as Putin’s tactics in the Crimea. Putin is very likely extremely proud of his friend, Donald Trump.

Further, for those who are true conservatives and care about the separation of states and city rights from the Federal government, they should be horrified. This was a clear violation of state and city sovereignty and jurisdiction.

It is also ironic that with the turmoil in our country about the abuse of police power, that these actions, themselves, are abuse of police power.

Let me be clear. I am not speaking as a member of a political party. I am speaking as a proud American who holds our Constitution to be a sacred document. Regardless of political affiliation, no matter if you are Republican, Democratic, or Independent, you should decry these actions. Our land must never become one that is ruled by autocrats and dictators who use force as they wish and ignore the rule of law.

Let us also remember that many fought and died to preserve out democracy. Let us honor their memory by insisting on the government abiding by the Constitution of the United States of America.

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Quotations on Censorship

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“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.”

                                                                     Ray Bradbury

 

 

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“Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice.”

                                                                   Henry Louis Gates Jr.

 

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“If this nation is to be wise as well as strong, if we are to achieve our destiny, then we need more new ideas for more wise men reading more good books in more public libraries. These libraries should be open to all—except the censor. We must know all the facts and hear all the alternatives and listen to all the criticisms. Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. For the Bill of Rights is the guardian of our security as well as our liberty.”

                                                              John F. Kennedy

Importance of Freedom of the Press

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In our current political climate, in which the Press has been attacked as somehow against the people, it is important to remember that a free Press was seen by the founders of the United States of America as a crucial element to keeping the nation free. Other thinkers have argued for the maintenance of the free Press as a necessary aspect of battling tyranny and supporting freedom. The Press is one of the institutions that must be preserved if the nation is to remain a free democracy.

One of the writers whose work most clearly illustrated the abuse of power and the effects of the suppression of the Press was George Orwell.

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“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all,
means the freedom to criticize and oppose.”

                                                                            George Orwell

 

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In an example of the use of the free press itself, Teddy Roosevelt said, in an editorial in The Kansas City Star, 1918:

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

 

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Perhaps the most important words about the Press come from the paramount document for the country: The Constitution of the United States of America, The First Amendment:

“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.”