Author’s Note: This article was originally submitted to the Wake Forest Review with the hopes of reaching a conservative readership.
However, it was rejected. It is disappointing that despite publishing countless writings on the importance of free speech and the diversity of opinion, the Wake Forest Review declined to expose their readers to viewpoints that may cause them to rethink previously held convictions.
The decision highlights a prevailing fallacy that insists liberal political correctness has a monopoly on shutting down discussion. If the Wake Forest Review were a true believer in constructive debate, they would have published this opinion alongside a refutation.
The themes expressed in this article are not partisan, unless one considers the belief in a free press and the judicial branch to be divisive issues. It is my hope that the Wake Forest Review will begin to encourage worthwhile conversation that allows all sides of the discussion to reach a mutual understanding and maybe even find some common ground.
Donald Trump is my president. I am reminded of this every day when I see him and his administration belittle journalists, silence dissenting voices and conduct the business of government without regard to facts or the constitution.
Trump is my president, but he is not my dictator. It is gravely important that we all stand in opposition to his indifference towards the truth and his attempts to toss aside institutional checks on his power. “So-called judges” and “the failing New York Times” are cornerstones of our democracy, and we must not let him permanently damage their reputations out of vanity and hubris.
When I say “we,” I am not referring to Democrats or Hillary Clinton supporters. The election is over and attempts to relitigate the same old arguments are fruitless. The corrosion of faith in the free press and independent judiciary should be alarming to all who aspire for a government loyal to the people and in line with our founding documents.
In fact, voters of Trump are the keys to stopping this country from going past a place of no return. Anything a Democrat says can be dismissed as partisan rhetoric so I implore any Republican intent on securing the blessings of liberty to speak out against infractions of our nation’s values or the foundation on which they lie.
For those who voted for Trump in spite of, not because of his attacks on the judge who oversaw the Trump University case, you must now denounce his newest rants against judges who deem his brash actions unconstitutional.
For those who voted for Trump in spite of, not because of his feuds with media outlets that point out his shaky relationship with the truth, you must insist on more than “alternative facts” and condemn the dismissal all negative reports as “fake news.”
For those who voted for Trump in spite of, not because of his proposal to ban Muslims, you must actively combat the demonization of immigrants and reject any attempt to paint the fight against extremism as a war between Islam and the West.
For those who voted for Trump in spite of, not because of his bizarre adoration for Vladimir Putin, you must demand proper inquiry into Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort’s dialogue with Russia and force the President to release his taxes to prove he does not have business interests that may skew his judgement.
For those who voted for Trump in spite of, not because of his rhetoric that made many question whether or not America has a place for them, you must stand up against any attempt to mock, demean, delegitimize or disenfranchise segments of the population.
Elections do not matter nearly as much as what happens after them. It is not a betrayal of creed to speak out against a president in your own party, but shelving a commitment to the constitution for the sake of supporting a Republican is a rejection of all you claim to believe in.
If President Trump continues to attack judges, journalists and individual citizens, go to County and State GOP meetings to tell them that this is not the Republican Party you voted for. Call your representatives and insist that Congress honor their constitutional duty and act as an equal branch of government that checks the powers of the president. Write op-eds to local newspapers that show you will not stand for the disregard of American values or discrimination of any kind.
The silence and unquestioned obedience from Speaker Paul Ryan and other traditional Republicans in the midst of Trump’s tirades has been the most chilling part of the last few weeks. History is watching all of us now and it is incumbent upon patriots from all parties to speak out against those willing to permanently crack the core of our free society to secure short-term political victories.