Sunday, January 29, 2017

Feeling Shell-Shocked After Trump’s Week-Long Blitzkrieg Of Insanity

Trump has only been president for a week and I am already starting to lose focus amid his blitzkrieg of insane policy decisions and ludicrous lies. You tell me, what’s worse:

Close Trump advisor Steve Bannon, an avowed racist, Nazi sympathizer and anarchist, has been added to the National Security Council, while the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were essentially demoted.

Trump’s Muslim immigration ban includes seven Middle East and African countries, but does not include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Azerbaijan where, coincidentally, Trump has business interests. And in case you’ve forgotten, 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has pushed the minute hand of the “Doomsday Clock” two minutes closer to midnight (11:57) and to the possibility of a civilization-ending catastrophe.

Pope Francis has condemned Trump’s immigration ban on Muslims.

The Trump administration is moving forward with building a wall across America’s southwest border even though a) Mexico will not help pay for it like Trump promised, b) experts agree that a wall is impractical and will be ineffective and c) there are major issues of property rights involved with the project.

The president and his minions continue to lie about, threaten and belittle the news media, with a recent Trump tweet accusing the New York Times and Washington Post of delivering fake news and being dishonest. Once again, no proof of these allegations has been produced.

Leaders of France, Germany, Canada, Italy, The Netherlands, Mexico, Iran, Scotland and many other counties (as well as the U.N. and the Pope) have denounced and condemned Trump’s immigration ban on Muslims.

Trump continues to insist there were 3 to 5 million illegal voters in the last election, but has yet to provide a shred of evidence to back up his claim and appears to be basing this assertion on a single tweet.

The president adamantly maintains that waterboarding, and other universally condemned forms of torture “absolutely work,” without providing any proof and despite volumes of studies that arrive at just the opposite conclusion.

On a number of occasions, Trump has stated that violent crime in America has been increasing, but statistics from the FBI show that violent crime in the U.S. is near historic lows and that citizens today are safer than at any time in the past 45 years.

And that’s just one week, folks. God help us all.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It’s Gut-Check Time For The Mainstream Press

The dismal dawn of the Trump era begins with a mainstream media at war with itself. At the same time that some big news outlets are defiantly and publically calling out Trump’s lies, others are quietly slipping back into their more traditional roles as standard bearers for the status quo.

Like all big American businesses, the loyalties of the mainstream news media are not with the readers or even the subscribers, but with the shareholders of their parent companies. The corporate media is a profit driven enterprise, and staking out what are considered unpopular or antiestablishment positions is not a good business strategy. Trump, however, is still an enigma in the eyes of the press. Yes, he is president, but he lost the popular vote by nearly three million ballots and is intensely disliked by a lot of Americans. And he is obviously crazy.

But old habits are hard to break. The mainstream news media has been the lapdog of wealthy elites, America’s intelligence organizations and the military/industrial complex since the end of World War II, and you don’t just turn your back on your oldest supporters because there’s a lunatic in the White House.

Case in point. In a recent interview with ABC News anchor David Muir, Trump repeated a well-worn lie that two people were shot in Chicago while Obama was giving his farewell address on January 10.  The political point of Trump’s lie is to underscore the out-of-control violence in Chicago and Obama’s failure to curb crime in his own hometown.

Two reporters from the Chicago Tribune investigated Trump’s claims and surprise, found they were not true. However, ABC News edited these false claims out of the televised interview and only included them in a written transcript on the ABC News website. For reasons that can only be guessed at, ABC essentially let Donald off the hook.

This is a tipping point for the American mainstream press. Will they have the courage to continue calling out the lies of Donald Trump and his administration or will they fall back into old patterns of cowering from the truth and covering up for the rich and powerful? Only time will tell.

Friday, January 27, 2017

America’s New Path Leads Directly To Mordor

Those of us who worry about upcoming events more than we should know intellectually that our overwrought reactions to stressful situations are unnecessary, and that ninety-nine percent of the time everything works out just fine. But there is that nagging one percent…and Donald Trump.

Trump is the rare case of an experience that turns out to be worse than you could ever imagine. A nightmare come true. Every morning brings headlines of new  horrors from opening up national parks to oil drilling to “alternative facts” to a president more concerned about crowd sizes at his inauguration than governing the country. Americans are living in a worse case scenario, a dystopian reality that was once the stuff of Tom Clancy novels and George Orwell’s imagination.

We were warned many times in the past. Sinclair Lewis, Aldus Huxley, Orwell, Gore Vidal, Margaret Atwood and many others raised flags throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first century about the real possibility of a totalitarian take over in America. You won’t find it mentioned in many American history books, but this country narrowly escaped a fascist coup in the 1930s when a cabal of elites (including George Bush’s grandfather) hatched a plan to use the military to overthrow FDR and establish a government modeled on Nazi Germany.

It can happen here and now it has. Today we live in an oligarchy that could slip at any moment into a totalitarian regime. Our status as a democracy is in question around the world, and foreign leaders are clearly alarmed and anxious as they monitor the actions of an American president unhinged from reality. Everything that makes us a supposedly democratic society is under threat, from a free press to freedom of assembly to the ability to hold elected officials accountable, and is being eroded by an insecure, mentally unstable president and his enabling administration.

Donald Trump is as bad as it can get. He represents everything that is antithetical to what was once the world’s most admired democracy. If he is allowed to remain in office for the next four years, our country will end up having far more in common with Mordor than Oz.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

How Should America Deal With A Mentally Ill President?

Suggestions that Donald Trump might not be mentally fit to serve as president have become more frequent after his first five days as Commander in Chief. You might think that this accusation is coming from the fringe on the Left, but that isn’t the case. Just this morning, Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman published a tweet that said, “An American first: a president who was obviously mentally ill the moment he took office. Thanks, Comey.” Krugman is referring to James Comey, head of the FBI, who some believe swung the election in Trump’s favor by announcing an investigation into Clinton’s emails.

Trump’s erratic and delusional behavior since his inauguration should have us all worried. Many Democrats, including myself, have lamented that even if we get rid of Trump, we end up with uber Christian Mike Pence. By voting for Trump, poorly educated racist white voters in the South and Midwest have put America between a rock and a hard place.

I am having second thoughts about this issue, however. I detest everything that Mike Pence stands for, and placing him in the Oval Office would be a very dark day for this country. However, it is becoming apparent that Donald Trump’s mental state is putting this country in grave danger. His delusions about massive voter fraud, his threat to send the military into Chicago to stem crime and his antagonist rhetoric toward China are not the statements of a sane person. I don’t know a lot about Mike Pence other than his odorous political leanings, but if you asked me who I wanted to be in charge of this country’s nuclear codes, I would have to go with Pence. He just doesn’t appear to be as unhinged and impulsive as Trump.

This all raises a lot of questions. Who would determine if Trump was mentally ill and unable to carry out the duties of the president and what would be the criteria? Can Congress unseat a president under these circumstances without going through the impeachment process?  And, considering Trump’s personality, what would happen if it was determined he was unfit to serve, but he refused to leave? It isn’t a stretch to believe Trump and his administration would consider any effort to unseat him a coup attempt.

We are living in unprecedented times in America. Our newly inaugurated president is showing signs of mental illness. The second in command is only marginally better. All I can say is hold on to your seats because we are in for one hell of a ride.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Belligerent Trump Puts All Our Lives In Danger

Many people have thought about it, a few have come out and said it, but the reality is that Donald Trump has a better than even chance of getting us all killed.

Like climate change, good taste and science, Trump does not believe in diplomacy. Even before he was sworn in as president, Trump got under China’s skin over that country’s claim to several islands in the South China Sea. The subject came up again yesterday at a White House briefing where Sean Spicer said, “We’re going to make sure we defend international territories from being taken over by one country.” The implication is that the U.S. is prepared to take some type of military action or embargo to keep China off of the disputed islands. For there part, China says any activity like that could lead to war.

Trump is four days into office and we already have talk of war, not with Panama or Grenada, but with the most populist country on the planet, which also has nukes. Previous Republican presidents Reagan, Bush senior and W all had their wars and, while not “official” Republican policy, there have long been off-the-record sentiments expressed by party elites that it’s a good thing for one’s polls and continued loyalty within the party to be a wartime president. As we saw with George Bush, his approval ratings went through the roof immediately after 9/11 and continued to be high enough to start two wars nobody outside his administration really wanted.

What is so ominous today is that Trump makes Bush look like a global statesman. Where Bush was naïve and impulsive (I go by my gut), Trump is a thin-skinned bully who believes anyone who disagrees with him needs to be taught a lesson. It’s bad enough when you’re on the playground pushing around the skinny kid with a pocket protector, but something else entirely when you start antagonizing countries as powerful as China.

Yet I don’t believe Trump makes any distinction between the two. No one is going to tell him what to do, which includes other countries, his advisors and the American people. Has Trump ever uttered the words “peace,” “cooperation” or “working together” in the context of international affairs? I haven’t heard them. Like other chicken hawks, Trump opted out of showing any true courage by staying as far away from Vietnam as he could, but loves to talk tough from behind the podium.

The problem we as Americans face is that the consequences of belligerence in foreign affairs isn’t simply a punch in the jaw, but the potential deaths of millions of human beings.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Not So United States of America

If the Trump debacle has taught us anything, it is that the United States is not united at all. Even after one of the bloodiest civil wars ever fought within a country’s borders, after decades of civil rights struggles, after two world wars, after generations of Americans have looked back at the sins of their ancestors, we remain a deeply divided nation.

Throughout the twentieth century, we pretended to be something unique in the world, a large country where people of many races, religions and ethnicities lived together in harmony and worked side by side for the common good. It was wonderfully aspirational, but never a reality. It only worked in theory, as long as minorities, immigrants, women and other groups of non-white males accepted their place in the hierarchy of our patriarchal society. The deep cracks in the foundation of this country, on both the left and the right, were papered over with copies of the constitution that no one had any other use for.

The Trump campaign ripped off the flimsy façade of American exceptionalism, exposing the lingering rot and decay of racism, sexism, misogyny and xenophobia among our country’s resentful middle and lower-class whites. There is one thing that Trump is truly an expert at, and that is manipulating and channeling people’s anger. His skill was evident during the presidential campaign, as he publically buried “political correctness” and gave whites permission to vent their frustrations and hostilities in public for the world to see.

The result has been an ugly and embarrassing spectacle, not to mention the Trump as president thing. Despite the best efforts of the Founding Fathers, ignorance won the day, and a despot ascended to highest office in the land. Our country is as openly divided as it has been since the Civil War. The next four years could very well determine whether we remain the United States of America.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Thoughts On This Darkest of Days

Watched Michael Moore pump up the resistance today instead of Herr Trumpenstein getting the keys to the White House and the codes to our nuclear weapons. Moore wasn’t easy on us. He called us weak, and we are. We don’t yet have the fire in our bellies that the suffragettes had in the twenties or the civil rights marchers had in the fifties or the anti-Vietnam war resisters had in the sixties. I have a feeling however, that it isn’t going to take long for the anger to reach a boiling point. Trump is beyond ignorant, he is dangerous, possibly mentally ill, and he has surrounded himself with other dangerous individuals who do not understand or believe in democracy.

How far out of touch are Trump supporters? One comment you’ll see a lot is this one: “Get over it. The people have spoken.” I agree. The people did speak, and they chose Clinton to be President by three million votes.

That’s all I can do for today. Need to conserve energy for the next four years.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Melancholy Musings on Inauguration Eve

‘Twas the night before Trump, and all through the land,
people sobbed and they wailed, heads in their hands,
the votes had been counted, yet the winner had lost,
The Donald will rule, at a terrible cost.

Tomorrow is inauguration day in America, and Donald Trump will be sworn is our 45th President. It is a travesty that we have come to this point, that a man who lost the popular election by nearly three million votes, a man who doesn’t care that a foreign government interfered with our election process, a man who shows open contempt for the U.S. Constitution, a man who admires ruthless dictators, will sit in the Oval Office (or an office in Trump Tower) for the next four years.

One question that stands out for me at this juncture in our history: What will it take to break free millions of Americans from the ideological and cultural walls they’ve built around their hearts and minds? We know they are mostly middle class and poor angry white males who feel threatened by just about everything. It’s vexing because they cannot be reached by traditional methods like facts, reason or scientific data. The only answer I can come up with is that it will have to get so bad for them personally that they will be forced to confront the real culprit — Donald Trump (let’s set aside conservative ideology for now, that’s too big a leap).

Things will have to get terribly, awfully bad, because Trump and his minions are very, very good at diverting their supporters’ already short attention spans with straw men, easy targets (the poor, minorities, immigrants, etc.) and good old smoke and mirrors. I guess this is sort of a required skill to be a successful dictator.  Trump will never accept any responsibility for the chaos he creates.

The sad reality is that even if Donald Trump is impeached or found guilty of a felony, he will be able to convince his supporters that it was somebody else’s fault. And if Donald goes, we get Pence.

Tomorrow will be a dark day for America when everything that was right about this country comes under attack from a cabal of renegade ideologues and right-wing reactionaries. Winning back Midwestern and Southern whites will be a decade’s long project for the Democratic Party, if they even have the will to try. At this point in time, all of our energies need to be focused on resistance and fighting the Trump agenda. Dealing with the problems posed by Red State America will have to wait.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Public Education Enemy #1: Betsy DeVoss

One of America’s defining features, one of the strongest pillars supporting the legitimacy of democracy over other forms of governing, was public education. The idea of government providing a quality education to all citizens, regardless of their wealth, ethnicity, sex, religion, etc., is, in a historical perspective, brand new, a truly brave experiment amidst the vast majority of the world’s countries where education is restricted in one way or another by class, sex, religion or wealth.

The American experiment in education was never perfect. Poorer school districts always lagged behind in results to wealthier ones, racial segregation persisted despite government efforts and educational priorities and funding shifted with changing political ideologies in Washington over the years. Still, we put humans on the moon, won Nobel and Pulitzer prizes, made incredible advances in medical and health care, and ushered in the computer age.

Yet at no time in recent history has public education been so in danger of elimination than it is today with Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.

The groundwork for the DeVos era has been laid by three decades of conservative attacks on public education as a liberal enterprise intent on destroying family values and autonomy. Teachers have been vilified, the arts kicked to the curb as superfluous and even science called into question when it conflicts with prevailing religious beliefs. The result is a national educational system that is underfunded, demoralized and, surprise, surprise, falling behind other countries in many important educational categories. It is the self-fulfilling wish of the American Right.

And now DeVoss steps into the fray, a credentialed conservative who has battled long and hard against public education. DeVoss has been a huge supporter of charter schools, as well as having tax money go to private and religious schools. She seems to approve of any type of educational institution as long as it is not open to the public and supported by public funds. Funny thing is, DeVoss has never attended a public school, never taught or administered in a public school, and did not send any of her children to public school. Who better qualified to serve as Secretary of Education?

Betsy DeVoss will be to public education what John Wayne Gacy, Jr. was to clowns. Her work, like others in the Trump administration, will be to destroy the very institution she will be sworn in to protect and strengthen, and based on her track record, she’ll do it with a smile on her face.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

I say Goodbye To Obama With Mixed Emotions

President Barack Obama has given his farewell address to the nation after eight years at America’s helm. As I’ve said in the past, I truly like Obama as a person and there is no other living President that I’d rather have a beer with than Barack. He is intelligent, articulate, compassionate and has a great sense of humor. And I stand in awe of his family and his relationship with Michelle, which has been so loving and true through very difficult times as they endured years of vilification and racist attacks from hateful conservatives.

All of that said, my assessment of Obama’s tenure as POTUS is mixed, and I cringe when I hear supporters trying to elevate his status to one of America’s greatest leaders. The highest praise I have for Obama is that he had the strength to accomplish what he did in office in the face of a hostile, obstructionist Republican congress. Getting the Affordable Care Act passed, his success in keeping the economy growing consistently, his dedication to dealing with climate change and his positive steps toward normalizing relations with Cuba are wonderful accomplishments, especially when you consider the ceaseless opposition of Obama-deranged congress-people.

The biggest disappointment I’ve experienced with Obama revolves around his early promise of “change.” When Barack first campaigned for the presidency in 2007-08, his rallying cry was “change,” and many of his speeches reminded us of the myriad failures of the two-term Bush administration, from 9/11 to the invasion of Iraq to an economy in the tank. Myself and other progressives were inspired by this rhetoric, believing that the Senator from Illinois meant that he was going change course from the horrid policies of George Bush and take us in a new direction. Unfortunately, this did not happen in some very important areas.

The undemocratic, unconstitutional security state set up by the Bush administration after 9/11 remains intact under Obama. The Patriot Act, Homeland Security and other excuses for invading privacy in the name of fighting terrorism continue to hum along undeterred despite the revelations of criminality and overreach by Edward Snowden. And it is reprehensible that the Obama administration has cared far more about intelligence leaks and how to stop them than it has about the intelligence abuses revealed by the leaks. The drone program was expanded under Obama and he has authorized more secret military operations in countries around the globe than any of his predecessors.

While his rhetoric makes him sound like one of the common folk, his actions have often been aligned with the interests of corporate America over what’s best for the rest of us. Despite the devastating effects of the 2007-08 financial crisis on this country’s economy, Obama’s corporate friendly administration refused to bring criminal bankers to justice, and he failed to support any substantive measures to rein in Wall Street. And his support of the horrid Trans-Pacific Partnership has been inexcusable. This secretive multinational agreement is a disaster for the environment and workers, allowing corporations to put profits above all else.

There is more — the Obama administration’s lackluster response to the failed war on drugs, allowing hundreds of thousands of prisoners to rot in jails for non-violent drug-related offenses, his wrong-headed, weak-kneed support of public education, his deportation of more immigrants than any president in history — and it doesn’t paint a picture of the progressive reformer many of us had hoped for.

The question is whether Obama was a good guy who was simply overwhelmed by the entrenched Washington elites or that there is a darker side to the man than his public personae lets on. I want to believe it’s the former, but either way, this is not a president who I would rank among America’s greatest.

Look In The Mirror America And The Reflection Is Trump

It has come to this. In the historical blink of an eye, the United States government will be run by a pack of delusional, reactionary sycophants who will gladly grovel before a modern-day coke-snorting Caligula, who himself lusts after a pouting barbaric strongman. Imagining they will ride grizzlies shirtless together over endless fields of supine serfs, Trump dreams of Putin, armies of Orcs and an all-seeing eye finding and destroying his pathetic, weak enemies.

America is now in the clutches of a soulless narcissist with daddy issues, a Dickensian monster who would gladly provide gruel for school lunches and send children to work in coal mines if it enhanced profits. Trump is the ultimate capitalist writ large, an amoral huckster always searching for the deal, whether he’s working the C-suite office or the Oval Office. Capitalism has no soul, no morals, no impetus to do good. The bottom line is all that counts, and that is the genetic soup out of which Donald Trump slithered.

Centuries of historical whitewashing, nationalistic cheer leading and media propaganda have led us to this moment in history. Trump is the monster that western capitalism created. He is the ultimate icon of the greed, racism and classism that this country was built on, which no one is willing to acknowledge. Trump is America, the all too real face of genocide, racism, nationalism and Christian extremism. Trump is the last great white hope and he will fail. The only question is how much damage he will cause before he meets his destiny.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Our President-elect Has The Maturity Of A Nine-Year Old

The big news of the day is actress Meryl Streep’s passionate take down of Donald Trump at the Golden Globe Awards, specifically citing his public mockery of a New York Times reporter with a physical disability who dared to cross the president-elect’s path. Mature adult that he is, Trump almost immediately started twittering about Streep, hurling personal insults at her because, well, he’s Donald Trump. And Trump had the audacity to say it didn’t happen and he would never mock a physically disabled person.

Of course, there is a very widely circulated video of Trump mocking the physical disability of a New York Times reporter (see photo above). One of Trump’s supporters popped up in a comment section trying to defend Trump by wondering why anyone would take Streep seriously, as she is a liberal talking to a liberal audience.

I imagine sitting at a bar enjoying a beverage with the person who wrote that comment and what I would want to say in response. “If you had a physical disability or a child or a spouse with one, and a man publically mocked that disability, would it matter to you if he was a conservative or a liberal, or would you just consider it demeaning, hateful and wrong?”

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Trump Is A National Crisis, But Don’t Take My Word For It

Living in the midst of a non-violent (as of today) national crisis is far different than viewing that crisis through the lens of historical scrutiny. If you strap on your blinders and turn off the parts of your brain responsible for critical thinking and common sense, the reality as it stands today is that Donald Trump won the Electoral College vote and that we should all simply accept that the system still works and move on with our lives. Trump supporters are more than eager to point this out in comment sections across the Internet, and there are even Democrats who are more interested in talking about 2020 than what is happening in the present moment. For them, it’s a done deal.

Yet republics rarely fall with an earth-shattering crash. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it certainly didn’t fall in 24-hours. The rise of Nazism in Germany didn’t happen overnight and was preceded by WWI and two decades of growth within the German political system. Trump’s quick ascendency to the most powerful office in the country isn’t the result of one crazy day when millions of Americans suffered a bout of temporary insanity and voted him into office. It has taken at least three decades of conservatives stirring up the anger of white Americans with a poor-oppressed “us” against the powerful, elitist “them” storyline to take us from the affable but dim-witted Ronald Reagan to the racist demagogue Donald Trump.

Talk of America being in a national crisis is even too much for a lot of middle-of-the-road Americans to accept, with many characterizing it as “the-sky-is-falling” hyperbole of left-wing losers. What is making me stand up and take notice is that it is not just the usually vocal lefties who are sounding the alarm, but many more liberals who would normally be considered anything but Chicken Little alarmists like former Clinton administration member Robert Reich and Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman. These guys are not prone to yelling “fire” unless there is ample solid evidence a fire is truly burning. According to columns and posts by these two and others over the past couple of months, there is genuine concern about the future survival of this country under Trump.

It’s important to understand that Reich and Krugman are not just worrying about this new administration and Congress enacting bad policies or passing faulty legislation, they are fearful of Trump’s threats to the very fabric of our democracy, such as free speech, a free press, and the rights of citizens to peacefully protest, not to mention this administration’s dangerously antagonistic and militaristic approach to foreign affairs. 

To Reich, Krugman and myself, Donald Trump represents a real and present threat to American democracy and to this country’s physical safety. We know Trump is a dangerous loose cannon, an adolescent in an orange man’s body capable of making mistakes on a scale unimaginable in previous administrations. Not only is Trump a loose cannon, they warn, but he is surrounding himself with reactionary ideologues who have no business working at such high levels of government.

Trump is not business as usual. He is not merely Bush with a fake tan. His willful ignorance and childish, reactionary decisions are dangerous and will have very serious and potentially life-threatening consequences for Americans. If you don’t want to listen to me, okay, but how about a Nobel Prize winning economist?

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Trump’s Attacks on the First Amendment: How Far Will He Go?

America, the ship of state is being steered into very dangerous waters by Republican fanatics who are avowed enemies of democracy. Yesterday, House Speaker Paul Ryan demonstrated the attitude of the Trump administration and its lackeys in Congress toward the first amendment. Ryan has made no secret of his desire to completely defund Planned Parenthood. In response, supporters of Planned Parenthood brought a petition to Ryan’s Washington office with nearly 90,000 signatures, hoping to present it to the congressman. Before they arrived, Ryan was meeting with constituents. When the Planned Parenthood group showed up at his office, they were met by a locked door and a security team. Ryan didn’t accept the petition or meet with any of the PP members.

Trump and his loyalists have absolutely no respect for free speech or freedom of the press, two cornerstones of American democracy, and administration spokespeople (particularly Kelly Ann Conway) and The Donald himself, have routinely made hostile threats against people and media outlets that criticized the incoming President. The irony that everyone but Trump can see that this comes after eight years of virulent and racist right-wing attacks on Barack Obama.

The alarms being sounded about the Trump administration’s attacks on free speech and freedom of the press are not coming solely from left-wing pundits, but from media outlets as staid and mainstream as Newsweek. In a November article titled, “Donald Trump’s Threat to Press Freedom: Why it Matters,” the author writes, “With little more than two months before Trump takes the oath of office, the threat to the media — and the public’s right to know — is reality.”

The question is, how far will Trump go to try and silence his critics? This is not a rhetorical question. In an interview with a CBS Miami affiliate, Trump agreed with the statement that the First Amendment provides, “too much protection.” He said, “our press is allowed to say whatever it wants,” and vowed to try and change current laws to make it easier to sue media companies.

There's no question the Trump administration will work hard to circumvent the First Amendment to silence critics. It’s up to us, we the people, to make our voices heard loud and clear that freedom of speech and freedom of the press must be protected if we are to continue calling ourselves a democracy.