Friday, January 27, 2017

Trump Wants A Secret (And Authoritarian) Government

(This image is by Taylor Jones at

Donald Trump has been president for less than a week, but he has already done some very troubling things (considering he is leading a free and democratic country).

For starters, he seems to have decided that he can pick and choose the news media that has access. He has said that he will pick the media outlets that get to enter the presidential press room -- which means essentially that he will also deny entry to other media outlets.

Trump is a narcissist, and is easily angered when any of the press criticizes him or calls him out on the lies that he (and his surrogates) tell. He puts his own image above the rights of the American people to have a free press.

But that is just the beginning. The Trump administration has also issued a gag order for scientists and others working for the United States government. Those working for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Park Service have been told they cannot communicate any of their findings to the media (or on social media). Obviously these agencies were chosen because they are the most likely to have information disagreeing with the policies of Trump (and his GOP buddies in Congress).

Trump not only wants to pick which media gets access, but also wants to control everything bit of information that comes out of government. He may think that is his right, but he is wrong. That kind of secrecy and control of information may be appropriate for a dictatorship or a minority, but it is anathema to the very idea of a democracy.

A democracy, which the U.S. claims to be, depends on the people having as much information as possible -- so they can make informed decisions about their government. And the most open government, that provides the most information to its citizens, is the best democracy. A democracy will die without a free flow of information, and in a democracy, the citizens have the right to know not only what their government is doing, but also what facts it has found on important issues.

Trump is not happy with try to guide a democracy. He wants to be the ultimate power that decides everything for the people. But that's not democracy -- it's tyranny. The press and the people need to use all the tools at their disposal (courts, Constitution, demonstrations, etc.) to fight Trump's attempt to stifle the flow of information. Our democracy depends on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED. And neither will racist,homophobic, or misogynistic comments. I do not mind if you disagree, but make your case in a decent manner.