On Aug. 10, editors of the Boston Globe began coordinating an effort for editorial boards across the country to lambaste President Donald Trump for his “dirty war against the free press.” Today, Aug. 16, at least 100 editorials will be addressing this egregious “dirty war” and calling shame on the president. We have joined in the effort.
The general American public trusts the democratic process. We understand our freedoms and rights, at least in some capacity, and we believe that a president will have our best interests at heart. For the last two years, however, much of this country has been in a state of emotional turmoil. Trump is leading the charge and redefining divisive politics. But just as Trump prevailed in the election, thanks in part to the help of fake news, he is also polarizing the country by attacking the free press. That in turn affects our ability to trust the news we consume and the sources that provide it. To continue to cast doubt on news agencies that aim to inform creates an unstable foundation for any educated and empowered public.
Further, the president is the master of fake news with no remorse. According to The Fact Checker, an online database that verifies the president’s claims, in 558 days, he’s made 4,229 false claims. It’s bizarre to think that anyone would trust the president, given his shifting of blame and responsibility, his haphazard policies that create havoc and fear, his relentless antics and confusing public persona. There is nothing consistent about what he professes are important values for Americans and how he applies them himself, such as advocating the manufacture of products here while his own Trump brand’s goods are manufactured in China.
While surely fake news needs to be addressed, news outlets such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CNN and Fox News, have to be dependable. Consumers of news do not like to be duped or to be the perpetuators of false information. The sheer longevity of these news sources’ existence should ring truer than a reality-show star turned president. But for those who continue to consume conspiracy theories because of the possibilities and probabilities of something happening, that only creates a volatile state of helplessness and distracts us from what we can actually change and improve.
In reality, however, while the president may have a cult following of many Americans, 42.2 percent approve of the job he is doing, according to a sampling of daily surveyors and then averaged at https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/trump-approval-ratings/. The approval rating shows that the majority of Americans cannot trust a president who is so inconsistent, engaged in attacks of not only the press but also many different groups of people as well, and has us all wondering what his real agenda is. Making American Great Again has morphed into Make the Majority of Americans Hostile and Nervous Wrecks.
While his supporters may think their loyalty will somehow pay off, the president has power to disintegrate our rights and privileges in being able to choose what we feel is dependable and trustworthy. To enable the president by believing his false claims and enabling his continued attacks on the press, we are jeopardizing the very Constitution our country was founded on. We urge the public to continue to support their local and national news agencies for the facts and for consistently dependable and credible information. Americans should know by now that this president simply does not care about those attributes.