My first major as a sophomore in University of Miami was journalism, and although it quickly became evident that my style of writing did not lend itself to that field, I always admired the men and women who devoted their careers to bringing us the truth. Freedom of the press is one of our most important rights, because the exposure of those people and actions that can hurt us, will ultimately be the main thing that will keep us safe. This freedom however, like all things, can be exploited, and I am concerned that we might be stepping over the line in an effort to protect our freedoms.
Those familiar with me and this blog know that while my political leanings often straddle the middle, I am far left leaning on anything dealing with the equal rights of all races, religions, nationalities, genders and sexual preference. I also believe that everyone must have the opportunity for health care, even though I do understand why some believe the wealthy shouldn't be obligated to cover all expenses. I believe that those of us blessed with opportunities and abilities to take advantage of those opportunities must, in good conscience, pay it forward. I also believe that although we need to find a way to close our borders to illegal immigration, we need to do so with an open heart to those who now reside in our country.
I tell you this so you can see that the present administration makes me uncomfortable, and I believe we must find a way to maintain the freedoms that it has taken us so many years to achieve. That being said, I am very uncomfortable with the direction that our journalists are taking in exposing perceived wrongs in our current administration. There is little doubt that our President and those surrounding him have little time for the media, and their treatment of those who are trying to do their job is deplorable.
That does not, however, give the media free license to exploit the disgruntled employees who are "leaking" information to the press on a daily basis. As unhappy as a majority of Americans might be with the policies and beliefs of our current President, he was selected by enough people to become the leader of our country, and barring some legal disaster, he will maintain that position for at least three plus more years. Every newspaper article that ridicules his looks, actions and intelligence, tells the world that we believe we elected someone who will never be able to lead and/or protect us.
It is easy to find things to ridicule this President about, but it would have been easy to find things to ridicule most Presidents about. Our press was generally above the trite and gossipy news though, and left the less newsworthy articles to the sensationalist newspapers that line the supermarket checkout counters. The real reporters didn't focus on the insiders who decided to "tell all" but instead spent their days hunting down the real stories, here and abroad, that helped us keep America safe and Americans aware of their surroundings.
Believe me, I do understand the desire that journalists have to fight back. I think it is probably the same desire that out current administration has to lash out at them. It is much like the fights I often witnessed in the schoolyard, where both sides lost their sense of reason and began believing in the need to win at all costs. Our media should be above all of that and need to expend all of their energy in exposing things that really matter. As tempting as it is, to continue to find ways to expose the lesser parts of our President and his administration, we need to follow the words of a smart woman who taught her family, "when they go low, we go high."
This week I decided to read a political thriller to take my mind off of things that were really scaring me politically, and I read Trap the Devil: A Thriller (A Dewey Andreas Novel Book 7) by Ben Coes. It is the story of a rough kind of American hero whose attempts to protect us from a shadow government put him in all kinds of dangerous predicaments. This was definitely a book to get the adrenaline going.
I kept up with the political theme when I also read Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson. The story begins with the kidnapping of the President's children and continues in typical Patterson style. If you are an Alex Cross fan, this will make you happy.
As always, complete reviews of both books follow this blog.