The freedoms that we enjoy in the U.S. are precious. Among them are freedom of speech, freedom of (and from) religion, freedom of the press and freedom to assemble and protest. It is unimaginable to live without them now. We take them for granted.

Trump Legal Troubles

Former President Donald Trump remains an admirer of Vladimir Putin, even after the authoritarian Russian leader’s invasion of Ukraine. Joe Maiorana/Associated Press

But it is our democratic government that assures us these freedoms. Our Constitution guarantees that the law treats us all equally, and that no one should be above it. We see, however, what happens when this guarantee is ignored. We are in grave danger of losing this safeguard altogether, because much of what Donald Trump and his supporters stand for is antithetical to freedom and democracy.

It is a universal desire of mankind to be free to design one’s own life. But beware the rising tide of authoritarianism worldwide. Look at Russia, Hungary, Belarus or Turkey, where the very freedoms that make life in the U.S. uniquely enviable the world over are not available.

Recently, we have heard a very different use of the word “freedom,” primarily by Trump supporters. The Freedom Convoy, for example, which blocked the streets of Ottawa and other Canadian cities, had little to do with personal freedoms. In fact, this militant protest interfered with the rights of people in Canada’s capital to go about their lives.

In democracies, peaceful protests are protected by law. But protests that threaten violence in order to impose one’s way on others are not. We are not free to hurt others. And in exercising our rights, we must not nullify the identical rights of anyone else. Equality of freedom is essential, or it is meaningless.

It is no secret that Trump is an admirer of Vladimir Putin – even after the Russian president’s invasion of Ukraine. Trump regards Putin as his mentor. They both aspire to turn the U.S. into an autocracy with Trump at the helm indefinitely.  He has used every means available, both legal and extralegal, to overturn our recent free and fair election.

Advertisement

The Big Lie that Trump and his cohorts have been shamelessly trumpeting is standard operating procedure for dictators.  Without a free press, they are unopposed in deceiving a large proportion of the populace. Trump is doing everything he can to brainwash voters into believing that our free press is the enemy of the people, and that mainstream media peddles “fake news.” These allegations, of course, are just more dangerous and insidious lies. But if enough people are taken in by them, and vote for candidates he endorses, we lose our democracy. Trump depends on the blind allegiance and gullibility of his followers, and on help from Republicans in positions of power who are too afraid not to back him up.  

But democracy depends on an informed populace that faces reality. The Founding Fathers never imagined that such a large segment of the country could be hoodwinked by a would-be dictator and pathological liar, or that most of one of our major political parties would be corrupt enough to go along with him, knowing full well that they are in the wrong.

Let there be no doubt that, should Trump ever again gain access to the Oval Office, he would use and abuse every power possible – including violence – in order to stay in power. He acts as if he is above the law now. If he were to become president of the United States again, he would make sure that this is so. He has no scruples that would hinder him.

We all better wake up, speak up and take all possible actions now to save our very fragile democracy and its irreplaceable freedoms before it’s too late. Here, we the people freely and peacefully choose our own government. Let’s keep it that way.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.