A gentleman from Lake Stevens asserted in a recent letter to the editor that the destruction of a free press would make us “a better human and a more patriotic America.” According to a recent article in “The New Yorker” magazine, President Jefferson, co-author of the Declaration of Independence, would disagree. If left between a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, Jefferson said he would not hesitate to choose the latter. Jefferson was an avid reader of the press.
Nothing written by or about President Trump would have given President Lincoln pause. He was vilified repeatedly. Union soldiers in the Civil War voted overwhelmingly to re-elect their commander-in-chief despite what they read about him in the press. I can safely say that they were patriotic Americans.
So how do we get to better days in this country? From my point of view, first we overcome covid-19. Second, we inaugurate President-elect Biden, who will shepherd the House and Senate back to legislating through committee and conference.
Third and most difficult, we listen to each other. By reading more newspapers, which can then hire more reporters to investigate thoroughly more issues. By reading more magazines, which can cover issues even more deeply than newspapers. By depending less for information on TV news or the internet. By reading more books: fiction, non-fiction, prose and poetry. They humanize all of us. Fourth, not so difficult: volunteer time and skills.