Speak-Up … While You Still Can

When the integrity of an entire group of professionals is called into disrepute in order to qualify the deceit and subversion of an individual in power, we must collectively pause and question how far along the road we have traveled toward the burning of the books. Then, as individuals, we must ask ourselves if we are still able to critically evaluate what we read in print and make-up our own minds. Or have we arrived at a point where the autonomous drawing of conclusions is no longer to be tolerated?

For if the press cannot be trusted and history is starting to become a target of doubt, the conclusion is simple; the United States of America is becoming an autocracy, and the cult of personality is eroding the very fabric of what this country is intended to represent. But that is far from all. The havoc created by the despotic machine currently despoiling the White House is constructed with malice and with intent. Not only does the Trump presidency actively seek to deconstruct political and educational foundations, it is deliberately creating uncertainties and cracks within the psychology of an entire nation that are potentially irreversible. How long until we are so unsure of ourselves that we are forced to turn to government-issued IDs in order to answer, “What’s your name”? After all, we may soon have to show a drivers license to buy a pint of milk.

I, for one, say, no more. I, for one, would rather trust the intentions of my colleagues across the industry, regardless of whether our political opinions align, than kowtow to a bully who has categorized us all as untrustworthy. For who is Mr. Trump to decide who can wield the written word and who cannot? This is an individual with a patent disregard for education, diversity and truth, and who has a determination to define fact as whatever spurious dishonesty seeps from between his lips. How often has Mr. Trump been caught in a falsification, and how often has he lied and created uncertainty in order to deflect the blow? How often has misbehavior been met with capriciousness, belligerence and anger? With alarming frequency. One thing is certain: Mr. Trump’s actions are not only an offence to the press, but to each and every one of 326 million inhabitants of this country.

The Bill of Rights begins with the right to the freedom of speech and the encouragement of a free press, neither of which Donald Trump seems to believe are worthy of preservation. So act now, use your voice and think for yourself while you can. Because at some point in the very near future, it may be too late.

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