“Congress Shall Make No Law…

… respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As a writer, a librarian, a citizen, a blogger, a member of a religious minority, and a newly-minted marcher, the First Amendment gives me chills whenever I read it. It one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and it is also one of my top three issues for the coming four years.

So when Steve Bannon calls the press the “opposition party” and says the press should just keep its mouth shut (and is backed by 45 himself), we have a problem.

There have been several pieces floating around that speculate on how intentional – or not – the administration has been, and what it means for the country. Are members of the administration deliberately and relentlessly setting up means to destroy democratic institutions….or are they just incompetent?

We can’t know another person’s intentions fully. But these actions and resulting consequences bear close watch. We cannot afford to look away, given the tone that the administration is setting about the press, not to mention what Ajit Pai’s appointment to the Federal Communications Commission might mean for net neutrality (more on this in a later post). And not to mention legislation in several states, including my own, to limit the rights of protesters. To say nothing of how the unAmerican ban on immigrants from primarily Muslim countries favors Christianity.

The 45th president poses a serious threat to our First Amendment rights. But as David Cole eloquently spells out, our First Amendment rights are the ones that will help us maintain our republic.

Here are a few recent articles about First Amendment rights, including this one by my talented and insightful colleague.

And just let this line from a recent Washington Post Op-Ed sink in: “The bottom line is that facts and reality are major problems for the Trump administration.”

And thanks to another librarian friend for sharing this list of alt and rogue Twitter accounts.

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