We are citizens of a nation that allows people to speak what’s on their mind and to express their ideas. There are few obstacles to this right. Unfortunately, in the current political world, if one disagrees with President Donald Trump or expresses a contrary idea or corrects that which is false, the president and his followers declare fake news — or worse — depending on the person, the topic, or the broadcasting station.
Most of us form our daily opinions of this administration from TV, the internet and local papers. As a nation, we are fortunate to have the multitude of media outlets that we have. Why fortunate? We don’t have to abide by state-run newscasts and don’t have to agree to political views that represent the political party in power. Think Russia, China, North Korea: the only “news” allowed is that which is sanctioned by the government!
When we hear the president calling out all news media, except Fox, as fake news, we should be offended and outraged to think that he would try to weaken our First Amendment rights of free press and free speech! So why aren’t we? Why do Trump supporters believe only the president and Fox News?
In an Aug. 15 letter to the Watertown Daily Times titled “Don’t ask Democrats what’s best for nation,” the writer really believes that the immigrants crossing the border are illegal, criminal, etc., and should not be allowed to enter the United States. This ignores the administration’s own reports and data that prove otherwise and ignores our asylum laws, which allow asylum-seekers to come here — yes, even those south of the border! Facts that Trump and Fox completely ignore and disregard result in many citizens not getting an accurate accounting of an issue. Ultimately, Trump/Fox followers believe everything else is fake, even when it isn’t.
But this concept is almost impossible to get across to Trump/Fox believers. If anyone disagrees or questions Trump, the person or news station is ridiculed, humiliated and considered an outcast. The Trump/Fox believers become more ingrained and saturated with their closed mindedness. No curiosity or questioning exists. Some would call this brainwashing.
We can only hope that Trump/Fox believers will at some point become curious and question what they are hearing and begin to see and understand how our First Amendment rights are being chiseled away by masterful con men.