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Letter: Free press is essential to a healthy democracy

Free press is essential to a healthy democracy

Thomas Jefferson said, “The only security of all is in a free press.”

Our founders wrote the First Amendment understanding its primacy in protecting our liberty. A free press is essential to our democracy. The press is our eyes and ears.

A free press asks the questions and investigates the issues we care about. Then we can read and explore the many sides of issues and, as educated, informed citizens, draw our own conclusions.

President Trump has demonized the press, comparing it to Nazi Germany, labeling it as “phony” or a “piece of garbage.” He has attempted to delegitimize the press by accusing it of being fake and claiming we should “believe” him, not the “mainstream media.”

When did “mainstream” become an epithet? It simply means prevailing thought. The opposite of which is fringe, the kind of claims provided by tweets; opinions not sourced for factual content. What does Trump fear from the press that causes him to condemn them? Perhaps it is truth.

We have no reason to believe anyone without evidence. History has shown that even presidents lie. The fourth estate represents the people and our interests. It is both fundamental to democracy and the enemy of tyrants.

Marilyn Cantor Feuerstein

East Amherst

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