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Regardless of the result of the 2004 presidential election, there are two key concerns that I submit are worthy of our efforts if we are to safeguard our freedoms.

First, we must know the truth in order to understand our national reality. We can be assisted in that quest by an unbiased media that work hard to present facts, not preferred fiction. We need to insist on this from our print media but most especially from television and radio outlets. The Constitution guarantees a free press, but we also need a press that strives to deliver accurate information, not propaganda, to the public.

In the television arena, C-Span and PBS come closest to this standard at present. We certainly don't need news programming that serves to inflame the differences in an already seriously divided country. I would appeal to media outlets to consider the good of the country and for individuals to think about their media choices. Do we want hatreds to intensify or do we want understandings to develop?

Second, we need to insist that our Congress take on its constitutional responsibility to declare war when it is necessary. Our government was designed with three branches in order to balance the power and protect us from the abuse of power by any one branch. We need to respect, protect and advocate for that balance by conveying our concerns directly to our representatives. If we have a strong, fair and free press, we can enlist it in this effort to safeguard our democracy.

Patricia Hazen


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