By Jack Parkos | United States
A new Ipsos poll shows that 43% of Republicans think President Trump should have the authority to shut down media outlets. 21% of independents and 12% of Democrats agreed. 23% of Republicans also thought the president should be able to shut down CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
Why do they believe this? Republicans claim the president should be able to shut them down for “bad behavior”. 48% of them believe the media is the enemy of the American people. Moreover, 80% believe there is a liberal bias, and 79% believe the press treats the president unfairly.
Regardless of media bias, the president should not be able to shut down the media outlets. Freedom of the Press is essential to a free society. The First Amendment clearly states we have the right to a free press, and the government cannot infringe upon it. Giving the president this power is very dangerous.
Regardless of if you like Trump or not, hate the mainstream media or not, this is a threat to liberty. Shutting down the media to rid the opposition of a voice is a dictatorial action. Why would anyone want the leader of our country to have that power?
However, there are some results that give hope to the republic. 85% of Americans agreed with the statement “Freedom of the press is essential for American democracy”. 68% agree “reporters should be protected from pressure from government and big business interests”.
What can we take away from these results? The Trump Populist movement feels that the media is attacking them. They have claimed this before, and the polls now affirm it. Even if a news outlet has a bias, the president has no right to shut it down. On the other hand, the Democrats are standing up for the journalists. However, it is possible that they aren’t standing up for free speech in the name of liberty, but instead in the name of partisanship.
This new poll shows the dangerous amount of loyalty to party and politicians. Even the party that claims to support the Constitution and small government will gladly throw the Bill of Rights away for partisan politics.
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