Misinformation threatens our democracy
(The following is in response to a letter regarding Wareham Week's editorial guidelines and subsequent column by Publisher Anne Eisenmenger.)
To the Editor and Publisher:
As a regular reader of Wareham Week and Wareham Village Soup (among other publications), I have agreed with some writers and have frequently despaired at some of the public comments posted. This last year has been full of conversations and discussions that have torn apart families and ruined friendships. We need to come back to a place where we can have productive dialog about issues without name-calling (when did “liberal” take on the meaning of a know-nothing patsy and “conservative” become a small-minded bigot?”)
That’s not who we are – not on either side.
FREE SPEECH IS OUR RIGHT AND PRIVILEGE AS CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY. No censorship means taking the bad with the good. And there is a responsibility that goes along with our right. We must use our freedom responsibly.
We are in a terrible and dangerous situation right now. Not because the Republicans control Congress, not because the Democrats can’t agree on anything, not because the President is taking severe measures to disrupt governmental programs, but because there exists the very real concern that we are losing our ability to obtain information. This is the greatest threat to our democracy. Media outlets are being denied access to information, government websites are being changed to remove information, federal employees are being challenged and research is being curtailed into subjects that don’t fit in to a limited agenda. Every administration has the right to change the focus of the government. They do not have the right to change the facts.
The opposite of fact is fiction. Or Fantasy. It is not “Alternative Fact.”
Review facts. Investigate. Research sources. Question motives. Do this before you form an opinion, because you are not entitled to your opinion unless you can defend it with facts. Real facts, not the other kind.
Very truly yours,
Marilyn C. Donahue