Assaults on the First Amendment

The very first in our Bill of Rights assures us freedom of speech (even if it is disagreeable to others); the right of the press to report the known facts (even if the government objects) and the right to embrace both conservative and liberal causes without fear of repercussion. All of these are under assault at this time and must be rigorously defended.

I support free speech as long as it does not attack or undermine the credibility of the press or our democratic institutions or call for subverting our legitimate government.

A free press is essential to the proper functioning of democracy. The press must be celebrated for asking difficult questions and speaking truth to power – not vilified or threatened. I favor a return to “the fairness doctrine” that compels news organizations to report honestly and accurately what is going on in our country and the rest of the world. Its demise has led to a practice of factual equivocation that gives falsehoods the same weight as facts. Propaganda and extremist bombast that undermine our democracy is sedition and should be prosecuted as such.

There is nothing inherently evil in the liberal viewpoint. Nearly everyone holds what may be called a liberal point of view about something, especially in comparison to someone, somewhere else. Permitting a culture in which people routinely lose employment for professing liberal values is dangerous to dialogue and to democracy.

Paid for by the Greg Sagan for Congress Committee.