Why Protecting The Free Press Is Our Most Important Job Right Now

Why Protecting The Free Press Is Our Most Important Job Right Now

My voice is just as important as any one else's, regardless of political party.
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Last week I read a great article from the New York Times by Jim Rutenberg headlined "Independent Press Is Under Siege as Freedom Rings." Reading it around the Fourth of July, I remembered the value of our First Amendment and its true meanings.

Here are a few things that bother me: people who yell ignorant, racist, homophobic, or misogynistic slurs and think that they get a free pass because of "free speech." Free speech does not encourage a shut-down of everyone whose beliefs do not align with yours. And this behavior is certainly not something that should be encouraged by others (let alone our president.)

What should be encouraged is a civil and rational discussion of viewpoints, especially opposing ones, that end in a better understanding of each other. Realizing that there cannot always be a compromise, and realizing that neither party's mind will be changed by these discussions, is crucial. But if we can understand each other better, at least we are moving forward.

Here's where the free press comes in: if our president slams every news outlet which does not praise him to the ground (yes, I am referencing the aggressive tweet towards CNN) how can we even begin to engage in this two-way discussion?

And why is it that the people who yell "free speech" when they want to insult someone are the same people who yell "fake news" when a journalist calls our president out on his wrongdoings?

If you have free speech, then so do I. I deserve just as much opportunity to express my opinions against President Trump as someone who agrees with him. That is what free speech means. It runs both ways. We have left-wing news outlets, and right-wing news outlets, and independent news outlets. We don't just pick one. That isn't free press; it's censorship.

I reserve the rights to make my own decisions, have my own opinions, and maintain self-respect. None of that will include being silenced out of fear. Just as other people will have their say, I will also have mine.

For me, protecting the freedom of the press is important because it means protecting my ability to say what I want to say, write what I want to write, and be who I want to be without fear. President Trump will not get a "free pass" on attacking journalists for doing their jobs.

The New York Times reported Courtney Radsch, advocacy director for the Committee to Protect Journalists, stating, "Targeting individual journalists or media outlets, on- or off-line, creates a chilling effect and fosters an environment where further harassment, or even physical attack, is deemed acceptable." I could not have said this any better myself, and I commend Ms. Radsch for all her work.

To cower in fear of a loud-mouthed, ignorant figurehead is to disrespect myself. To feel as if I have to hide my opinions is to disrespect myself. To think that I cannot stand up to a disrespectful man because he is the president is to disrespect myself.

And I will not disrespect myself.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

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2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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I'm A Christian, And I'm Voting Democrat This Election

I personally prefer candidates who actually hold town halls and rallies over incumbents who ghost us.

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Alabama is currently in the bottom 4 for overall state ranking. With the midterm elections soon upon us, we have plenty of positions to fill in Alabama. Governor, representatives for state and districts, Public Service Commision, the list goes on. I have been raised in a Baptist church my whole life, but I'm voting blue for this election and all others to come.

For Governor, we have Democrat Walt Maddox and Republican Kay Ivey Both Christians, but only one treats people the way the bible tells us to. As you can see, Walt Maddox is clearly the only candidate with an actual plan for Alabama. From Education to Public Saftey, Walt Maddox has a plan. We have not seen the same from Kay Ivey. I've also been able to recently go to a campaign rally that he held at Troy University and I and many other students were able to ask questions and he gave informed and detailed answers. Still waiting for that debate, Governor Ivey.

Moving on, we have Democrat Tabitha Isner and Republican Martha Roby for Congress; more specifically, District 2. Again, with the Republican vagueness. Tell us your actual plan. It's not that hard. Also, Tabitha Isner is an ordained minister and her husband is a pastor! I recently got to meet her in Union Springs for a high school homecoming parade. She's also visited Troy University several times. I also have volunteered on occasion and she is just a joy to be around! There's been nothing on Martha Roby's side.

For Public Service Commision (yes, that's a thing), we have three places. Place 1 and 2 are up for election. For place 1, we have Democrat Cara McClure and Republican Jeremy Oden. The Montgomery Advertiser had an interview with each candidate and Cara McClure was the only candidate that talked about the issues. Alabama is currently number 2 in electricity bills and number 4 for overall energy bills.

For Place 2, we have Democrat Kari Powell and Republican Chip Beeker. Okay, now this is just frustrating. It really bothers me that both Republican candidates for PSC don't even have their own website and are super vague about the issues. However, Cara McClure and Kari Powell have actually teamed up and are running together! Both were able to visit Walt Maddox's campaign rally here at Troy and told us about issues that I didn't even know had happened and were still happening. They both told us their plan for Alabama and how to help fix the problems.

These are just the ones that have been posted all over my college's campus. There are plenty of other seats to fill and to save everyone the time and trouble, this link will show you all the amendments to vote for and positions up for election. This has been set to Troy University's location.

If you don't get anything else out of this, it's to VOTE. Exercise your most basic right as an American and VOTE, VOTE, VOTE!

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