James Madison once said, “The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.”
And mistrust of those wielding the levers of power in government goes back to the days of the American Revolution, closely followed by intellectual brawls in creating the U.S. Constitution, and soon followed by the party wars of the 1790s.
That mistrust is still with us, and it is a healthy thing.
The spirit of President Trump’s ongoing slugfest with the media is nothing new, though he has taken that fight to a level many thought not possible. Presidents have had relationships with the press ranging from the uneasy to the downright combative, going back to the days of George Washington.
While it is one thing for those in power to try to discredit the press, it is quite another for those citizens who often benefit from that press to question its value to the country.
It is a free and objective press that sheds the hard and unforgiving light on those things that should not be when those in power are doing things they should not do.
Present and future presidents, along with all those who hold elected office, can rail against the press as they wish.
But without the press, we would have little hope of learning quickly enough those things we need to know to make us better-informed citizens.
I’m Andrew Nelson, and that’s my perspective.