On Veterans Day, we memorialize our brave heroes who sacrificed their lives so that we can live in the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave". But after reading how Citrus County commissioners disregard a free press by claiming the New York Times is a fake newspaper, I realize we are now living in a land that is less free or brave. Our most precious rights are to be fully informed, to speak our minds, and to challenge authority without fear. These rights, sanctified in our First Amendment, keep us free.
Do we really want to live in a country in which the only news we get is government propaganda? Where anyone who dares criticize the official government line is jailed or worse? Look around; the world is filled with such places. Hong Kong has been protesting for months to keep their freedoms and not live under China's tyrannic oppression. Hong Kong knows how China handles dissidents: "A nail that sticks up its head gets the hammer." No free news media there.
In the United States, politicians, especially the president, should expect heavy criticism from news media. Although politicians sometimes dispute news reports, they respect the right of a free press to publish. As Harry Truman said, "If you can't stand the heat in the kitchen, get out!"
This Veterans Day, how tragic that we, without a fight, are surrendering the freedoms our brave soldiers died to protect.