To the editor:
America is the land of believers. We accept certain beliefs as facts because we trust the source those facts came from. When the Founding Fathers formalized the rules of the republic, they understood these tendencies and created laws that would allow a system that doesn’t punish you for your beliefs as long as they don’t infringe on another’s.
They hoped the power of “facts” would keep governments in check by exposing harmful ideas or policies and allowing democracy to make the corrections at election time. It didn’t always work that way (yellow journalism, Jim Crow laws), but we “believed” in the system, and the voters and the institutions that provided news "facts."
But now America is threatened by a new system of information fragmentation and disorder that puts facts in dispute, truth in limbo and consensus impossible. We only believe what our trusted sources tell us, true or not. Freedom of the press and free speech are the tools of saboteurs, willing to say any lie as long as it serves their political end. The corporate controlled press is just one more weapon in the fight for a win on election day.
After the last four years of turmoil and discord, it is tempting to disconnect and focus on other things for a while. Only problem; the folks who want to dismantle democracy are not taking a holiday (see Texas). And you wake up one day to a country that may be functioning, but not as a democracy.