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.
U.S. Constitution, Amendment I
These are difficult days, no doubt. I can see the strain in those around me. My husband, who never gets sick, is suffering from a terrible cold. I wake up at 3 am, give or take, each night worrying about the status of this country. Before this election (and pre-election angst), I only had this type of insomnia when I was under the deepest times of stress.
As a no-longer practicing lawyer, my greatest concerns under this new administration rest with the threats to our Constitution. My favorite class in law school was, in fact, Constitutional Law. That text was my thickest book (of all my life, in fact) and took two semesters of daily classes to work through with my fabulous Constitutional Law professor, the late Marcia O’Kelly. I’ve no doubt that Professor O’Kelly is rolling over in her grave right now to see all that is happening in this country.
With so much daily destruction (or deconstruction) happening, it is difficult to know where one might focus enough to provide any sort of concrete support to the Resistance. I’ve been spinning around and around in circles, watching the leaks spring up in the boat of our country. I think I need to choose just one hole to focus on plugging. I believe I’ll champion First Amendment rights; this only makes sense, as a writer. Democracy depends on the free flow of information. We, the people, need journalists and writers (the Fourth Estate) to investigate, discover, and report back to us the truth. Engaged and empowered citizens require the opportunity to discern truth from propaganda. We need to know what our leaders are really up to ensure the continuation of our very fine (not perfect, but enormously successful to this point) democratic system.
“Secrecy in government is fundamentally anti-democratic, perpetuating bureaucratic errors. Open debate and discussion of public issues are vital to our national health.” New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)