You may recall that snowy day in Washington, D. C., a few years ago, when Donald John Trump took the oath of office and became the 45th president of the U.S.
You may remember, he reminded us then, that it was the “largest and best” inauguration ever. It was the day the lies first started, when the pandemic on truth began. It was the day the music died.
Long before COVID-19 was ever discovered, Donald Trump had become a virus, defiling the oath of office he swore to uphold on that wintry day of January 2017.
From the moment he took office, the president has undermined the freedom of the press. Foolishly, the media dutifully reported the attacks rather than responding to the assault. The virus got the better of us.
The president’s daily attacks undermining the freedom of the press go beyond expressing a partisan political opinion. They are not within the parameters of his own right to “free speech.” They instead violate his constitutional duty and presidential oath to protect the first amendment.
When the president took an oath to obey the constitution, he swore to uphold the Bill of Rights, not demean or disgrace them. He has failed in his moral and legal obligations. His duty was to defend the rights of the press, not deny them.
When you take that oath, your duty is to protect contending voices, not delegitimize them. You may have your own views and opinions, and they may not be those of the media or MSNBC. That is fine — that right you have.
What you don’t have is a right to sabotage a democracy by destroying the very institutions you are legally bound to protect. To destroy the fundamental underpinnings of the independence and freedom of the press is a treasonous act. Sadly, this the president has done.
In grade school, Americans are taught an axiom we ought to have never forgotten — “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it.”
Every time Donald Trump personally attacks a reporter, he sabotages that doctrine and violates his oath of office. This is more than tweeting diarrhea. This is failing to do your constitutional duty to protect one of the most treasured and sacred laws of this land. You see, becoming president does not give you more rights. It means you must protect ours, even at the expense of your own.
The president is trying to build a tyrannical and ultra-conservative empire that is better suited to a dictatorship. He wants to create a universe that tolerates no opinions other than his own, but the first amendment provides exactly the opposite. In America, we don’t crown kings or kneel to dictators. We overthrow them.
There is a reason Donald Trump has made friends with Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, and a Saudi Arabian king. They don’t have oversight or inspector generals in those countries. They have reporters disappearing in the middle of the night and slaughtered in embassies. Donald Trump respects repression, not our republic.
Donald Trump has in fact lobbied for a state press that would only celebrate his achievements. He has no room for critics. He silenced them with non-disclosure agreements, or paid them off with bribes.
A real conservative champions individual rights and free speech. Mr. Trump silences them because he is not a conservative. He is a con artist and a crook. The U.S. constitution is his enemy, not his friend.
America is aspirational. We come together as a society not to restrict the rights of any, but to secure the rights of all. The words of our constitution are to be lived and loved, not loathed. Mr. Trump does not know the difference.
When a football player takes a knee, or a White House reporter poses a tough question, they are protecting your access to that first amendment. When a president refuses to answer their questions, he is denying your right to be heard.
Donald Trump is a president who unabashedly and unapologetically demonizes contending voices. He cuts down not just his opponent, but the very debate and dissent he swore to protect. His words become treasonous, his actions criminal.
When you undermine the first amendment, sabotage a free press, and knowingly try to suppress dissent, you are guilty of treason.
You are a traitor, and you need to be brought before a jury. Donald John Trump, I find you guilty. Would you prefer to gargle with Clorox, bathe in Lysol, or just have a few doses of the Alibi’s newest drink, the Bleached Hydro chloroquine cocktail?