Letter: Press needs to defend our freedom

To the editor:

The bureaucratic brutality and legislative vandalism has begun. Herding women, children and hard-working men to deportation centers and letting coal companies dump mining debris in rivers and streams is just the tip of the iceberg.

Anger and fear among white voters have put the foxes in the hen house and wolves in the barnyard.

It is easy to point at loose-lipped Donald and his band of wealthy cronies, but the real tragedy is behind the scenes. Steve Bannon and Paul Ryan are already following the Heritage Fund road map for dismantling the U.S. government. Safeguards and legitimate support for ordinary people are being scuttled in favor of rapacious corporations and billionaire investors.

Massive corporate and investor money has now taken over every facet of our government, and a large segment of our population still believe that these billionaires are going to help working people.

Considering the massive funding of the propaganda machine, the bumper sticker slogans, half-truths and empty promises will keep coming at us from all directions.

We who are being sucker-punched, ripped off and abused have no chance to get to a ballot box for many months. Between now and then the only defense against this onslaught on decent government and social justice is a free and very vocal press. This is not the time to repeat every inane rant and tweet made by Trump or his mouthpieces.

Those are neither factual nor newsworthy, just more bullying of the press and dissenters. Instead the press needs to focus on every step taken in suppressing honest reporting and in destroying the legitimate safeguards and functions of government.

Considering the political amnesia of most of the population it needs to keep that scorecard in front of all of us right up to the next election. This is no time for business as usual in the newsroom. Trump respects neither the presidency nor the press and does not deserve the benefit of the doubt that the press gives to respectable public figures.

Please switch gears and defend both your freedom and ours from this terrible convergence of abusive power.

Donald A. Smith