Democracy Requires Free Press

To The Editor: 
A free press is the linchpin of a democracy. In recognition thereof, on Sept. 25, 1789, Congress passed Amendment 1 that was ratified on Dec. 15, 1791. It stated that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

In some countries posing  as democracies—when in fact they are more dictatorial—there is no free press and we often read of the jailing of members of the press and newspapers shut down simply because their writings disagree with the government

Our free press is currently under siege by President Donald Trump, who possesses dictatorial makings. His claim that the press makes up fake stories is not simply nonsense, it is consistent with Trump’s daily appetite of lies. He operates on the premise that if he lies often enough, people will begin to think it to be true. His lies are so outrageous, so pathological, that I believe—in the end—it will be his downfall.

The PRESS of Southeast Queens article “TRUST” that appeared in the May 12-18, 2017 edition pointing out that “democracy is simply not possible without a free, independent press” is right on the mark. Trump notwithstanding, I am sure that the PRESS of Southeast Queens and all of our other forms of press will continue to report the news in a fair and impartial manner and preserve our democracy. Trump does not have lifetime tenure and our free and independent press will outlive him.

Benjamin M. Haber,


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