Press freedom is foundation of democracy

Press freedom is foundational

Numerous presidential administrations have come and gone while we have watched a deepening divide between the two parties. I cannot say that I am a moderate, for every time I think there is no difference between our two parties, the Republicans develop policies that cause my blood pressure to spike! Policies like cutting social security and curtailing Medicare all the while increasing military spending to the absurd.

Let’s examine what Trump’s so-called achievements really mean. First off, the significant tax cuts, almost exclusively benefit the upper class. While many sectors of our economy have seen continued growth, which started well before Trump took office, this growth has not translated into increased tax revenues. In fact, the exact opposite has occurred, with the US treasury forecasting nearly $1 trillion of additional debt over the next decade!

On, regulation cutting, remember what has happened throughout history when industry is not regulated. People suffer! High wages with great working conditions are not cost-effective formula while low wages and long hours help the bottom line. If it were not for government regulation, our lives would be extremely unpleasant, our skies a lot darker, our water more unsafe and our children at far greater risk of cancer and other diseases. Or maybe rivers catching on fire from pollution was too long ago to remember?

As to opening national parks and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for energy production; certainly, we may need energy resources in the future—but not now! If alternative energy is given an opportunity national parks may never need to be considered. Fracking, in the Dakotas was to help energy independence yet, that oil is exported. Greed does not care about energy for the future or ways to conserve.

On tariffs, the increased cost and price of goods from overseas are driving up prices for the average consumer while also driving out companies who can’t afford to manufacture goods.

We are a nation of immigrants, always have been, always will be! But let’s not even begin to address the apathetic morality of separating children from their parents, desperate people who are fleeing oppression and looking for freedom from prosecution.

The U.S. already spends more on the military than the next eight countries in the world combined and spends significantly more than its strategic competitors, including three times more than China and 10 times more than Russia!

Freedom of the press is one of the foundations of our democracy. The term “enemy of the people” has been used often and repeatedly by dictators and autocrats. The Nazis used it during the Third Reich’s rule in Germany. It gained its widest use by Joseph Stalin. “Enemy of the people” was used against the clergy and political opposition writers who questioned the ideologies of the new government. An Enemy of the people designation could mean immediate imprisonment or removal to a labor camp.

We should understand the consequences of Donald Trump policies—he is a divisive bully, and those that cross him, be it friend or foe, will not do well. The Vidette’s editor recognizes what Donald Trump represents, and I believe we should too!

Ron Figlar-Barnes

Elma