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  • Last modified 11 days ago (July 4, 2024)

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Truth vs. autocracy

To the editor:

I write from my hometown, Laredo, Texas. My house is at Mile 1 of I-35, a total of 14 blocks from the Rio Grande, the border with Mexico.

Having taught post-secondary U.S. history since 1988, I felt compelled to subscribe to the Marion County Record upon seeing footage and reports of the illicit twin raids on the paper’s office and publisher Eric Meyer’s home.

Much more serious than the vile invasion of privacy was the gross violation of constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press. Meyer’s mother’s death was an additional sorrowful incident, and I offer my condolences.

I compliment Meyer’s June 5 editorial, “Make the GOP great again.”

I wholeheartedly agree with his opinion that the Republican Party should return to its core beliefs and avoid campaigning on the basis of one person’s less than illustrious character.

I myself have been a registered Democrat since 1968 and miss having sensible debates concerning governmental policies that would benefit most people, not just a select group.

A two-party system with free elections would guarantee a true democracy and its three separate branches a system of checks and balances.

In 1785, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The basis of our government (is) the opinion of the people, the very first object (is) to keep that right; and whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without government, I would…prefer the latter.”

Freedom of the press, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution, is a key mechanism of a functioning, healthy democracy.

In the absence of censorship, the Record’s open journalism exists as a watchdog on private and government action, providing information to maintain an informed citizenry of voters.

An uninformed populace leads to a weak nation susceptible to autocracy.

American readers know some media sources try very hard to provide balanced reporting and opinion. Marion County is indeed fortunate to have its weekly Record’s dedicated staff.

“Men are more apt to believe what they least understand.” —Michel de Montaigne.

Carlos Valle, Ph.D.
Retired professor of urban studies, history, and radiographic science
Laredo, Texas

Last modified July 4, 2024

 

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