July 6, 2017, La Crosse Tribune

It was 241 years ago that our nation’s fathers declared independence from English aristocratic rule.

One of the bedrocks for the success of this experiment in self-rule was the existence of a free and protected press that could inform people to be able to govern themselves.

Today we need a free and protected press as much as in any other age. And it is proper for us Americans to not only protect the freedom of our journalists to inform us, but to also respect and be proud of their role in our society.

The belittling of our news agencies (if not vilification of them) that our current White House appears to be promoting is truly counter to the traditions of our democratic self-rule for more than two centuries. It is good for our representatives in Congress to point this out to the executive branch and to petition that it stops doing this.

Today it is not the English aristocracy that represents the 1 percent of society that our forefathers declared independence from. Today, we have other folks who represent the 1 percent ultra-wealthy of our society.

Their practice of spending huge amounts of their money to pay for political campaigns is our modern equivalent of the political subjugation that our forefathers declared independence from in their day.

We need a free press as much as ever. We must be grateful for the work of journalists. And our White House administration should stop trying to make fun of, undermine and possibly even threaten their profession.

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