The Trump opposition to the media is dangerous to the very idea of democracy. This is due to the media’s role in keeping the people informed. At times, they may fail at this endeavor. Yet, the shortcomings of particularly partisan media outlets does not condemn it entirely. In fact, if there was any institution we need during this particular administration, it is the media
It is crucial that we have a more informed public. Not only for the fate of our nation, but also for the fate of our allies in other countries. Humanity is a global organism. Whereas, the fate of all of us depends on some level of cooperation. This is where international trade agreements, and treaty obligations are important.
All of these, we would know very little about without the continued access to our government by the media. This is in addition to the importance of public contact from agencies, such as the EPA and USDA. The work done by both of these organizations is important to our health, the economy, and the state of our world environment.
The public outreach, by the EPA and USDA, often provides valuable information to the public. As with any government agency, the public must know what they are doing, and have access to their research and activities. This is where the media, and in particular journalists come in. Journalists are to gather this information from reliable sources, and disseminate this information to the public.
It is this information, as well as access to our government agencies, that the public needs to make proper decisions when choosing representatives. As noted in another post, we the people have also failed at holding our representatives accountable. But none of this curtails the importance of having an institution whose sole purpose is informing the public.
All of this does not seem to be of importance to the secular community, but we must look beyond the surface here. So far, this has been slightly meta. The specifics are that the people who are shutting down media access all have a particular theocratic tone to the policies they want. The media access has kept us all talking about gag orders, the alt-facts trope, or even the size of Trumps ego.
The removal of climate change from government communications is based purely on theological ideals. Rick Perry even called it a “..secular carbon cult..” Most of the cabinet picks are from the extremes of the evangelical right. The Jeff Sessions confirmation hearing was also telling to this end. When questioned by Sen. Whitehouse, Sessions responded that he is “not sure” if a secular person has the same access to knowledge as a religious person.
Another issue is all of the references to god by Trump during the swearing in ceremony of James Mattis. At one point, Trump even declared that we get our freedoms from god. This is a very theocratic statement, and a dangerous ideal to be held by a president. The governments must represent all of the people not just people who believe in god.
Freedom comes from a government, where the ultimate power comes from the people. And with that power, all people must be equal and protected from the will of the majority. To that end, the people must be equipped with information, and the freedom to reason from that information the direction of our Federated Republic. This is why our founders codified freedom of conscience, and of the press as our top amendment in the bill of rights. For without these protections, no one is truly free, and democracy begins to shift to an autocratic theocracy.