America — A Country of the Brave and the Free?
America: A free country?
Free for whom? Freedom has consequences.
To exercise your right of freedom, you need money, and lots of it. Don’t trust me? Well, let’s dwell on the plight of Autumn Drussell for a few moments. She was recently demoted from her job as an editor of a Wisconsin newspaper, Stoughton Courier Hub for writing a column that offended advertisers.
In a July column, Drussell wrote that she was shopping more at low-cost big box stores because of the economic downturn. She advised the local businesses to improve their customer service and desist from belittling their thrifty customers. This did not sit well with local advertisers, including hardware store owner Jim Gerber, who threatened to stop advertising in the newspaper until the economy improves.
A few days later, Drussell was told by the general manager of the Unified Newspaper Group that she was demoted from her position as an editor. She was also asked to sign a document agreeing to stop writing opinion pieces and be on probation for 90 days.
Drussell said, “It used to be that people at newspapers with an opinion were protected. Because of the constraints newspapers are under with the economy, it sounds like that's not the case anymore and that's starting to go away. That's scary to me.”
Commenting on the incident, Stephen Ward, a University of Wisconsin-Madison journalism ethics expert, stated that the action by the newspaper was draconian and chilling.
Yes, my fellow American, this what you need to be afraid of, not of some box cutters from Middle Eastern countries who still live and act like as if we have not passed the stone age—9/11 notwithstanding.
In America, freedom is increasingly being held in reserve for the rich and the mighty. Even the US legal system works for the benefit of the privileged. A case in point is the Supreme Court verdict on the election of 2000, when five wise judges stopped recounting votes in Florida which, if completed, would have elected Al Gore as the 43rd President of the United States.
Or, take the Citizens United case in 2010, when again in a 5 to 4 decision the Supreme Court decided that any corporation can spend to their heart’s content to get any candidate elected. This opens up the possibility that a foreign country can unduly influence our national elections. I stand awe-stricken wondering if we are still a sovereign nation!