We ask our loyal readers today to dig deep into their souls, to reach down and ask yourself what it means to be an American.
It should be easy, because it always has been in the past.
We’ll help you with some of our own thoughts.
Being American means being the good guys, being on the side doing the right thing and honoring the rule of law as the foundation of our government.
We believe it means helping the oppressed, supporting allies in times of crisis and always defending freedom and democracy around the globe.
We believe it means having a vigorous debate with your neighbor while always respecting their point of view.
We’re the greatest country in the world, right?
We would not be surprised if many of you paused just then.
We wouldn’t be surprised if many of you thought to yourselves, “Well, we sure used to be.”
The six of us currently on The Post-Star‘s editorial board have always defined our mission in very narrow community goals, and we try to stay above the national political fray.
But more recently, it is not unusual for a meeting to begin or end with a free-ranging discussion of what we are seeing nationally. Our editorial board, with rotating citizen representatives, is always changing and evolving, but the one constant for the dozen or so citizens who have served over the past two and a half years is a “concern” about our political discourse and the actions of our current president.
That has never been more pronounced than now, and it brings us to today, and our belief that we all need to dig a little deeper if we want to save America.
We ask you what you believe.
Do you believe in upholding the rule of law?
Do you believe in the institutions charged with enforcing those laws and upholding the Constitution?
As an institution in this community, we take very seriously our mission to give you the news with the best information available. We are totally committed to facts. But there is currently a war on facts and truth, and our citizens are failing in their responsibilities to decipher truth from fiction.
Great journalism is being done at national newspapers and it is being ignored because politicians are saying that reporters and editors all across the country are compromised.
They are saying journalists are liars.
They are saying they are part of some vast political plot.
You have to ask yourself if you buy into that.
We don’t think the average citizen is that politically motivated.
We know that almost all news organizations have codes of ethics that are strictly enforced.
We have supported presidents of both parties and varying viewpoints repeatedly and hoped for the best.
But this different.
This is far more insidious and dangerous for our country because of the divisions it has caused within us as people, and the reality that little has been done to protect the sanctity of future elections from foreign adversaries.
We’ve observed so many of our readers who are so sure of their point of view without really looking closely at what is fact and what is not.
We need to ask why?
We need to ask why the president has not addressed the sanctity of our elections.
Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor previously revered as perhaps the last honest man in Washington, spoke to the American people Wednesday with chilling words we wish were not needed.
He told us that he could not indict a sitting president of the United States, regardless of what he found during his investigation.
He told us if the president was innocent, he would have said so in his report.
He provided 10 instances of potential obstruction of justice by the president, and said that only Congress was in a position to address the president’s actions.
He told us there was no doubt that our presidential election had been compromised by Russian interference, and while there was not enough evidence to “charge a broader conspiracy,” there was evidence.
He said it was all there in the report.
We have encouraged all of you to read the report, but at 400 or so pages, we know that is unlikely. We urge you to persevere. We urge you to turn off the TV for a week and read the significant sections.
Yes, it is that simple.
What was especially chilling was Mueller’s statement that he could not indict the president because of Department of Justice guidelines that forbid it.
That was directly contrary to what Attorney General William Barr has previously told the public.
The attorney general of the United States lied to the American people.
So what do you believe?
Do you believe the dozen or so citizens who served on this board along with the longtime employees of The Post-Star are all politically motivated by identical ideologies, at the expense of facts and the rule of law?
Do you believe we are also part of a vast conspiracy against the current president, along with other journalists across the country?
Do you believe in the rule of law and the role of Congress to provide oversight over the executive branch?
You need to dig deep today and answer those questions.
What institutions do you still have faith in?
Eventually, we have to believe in something.
Right now, we’re worried.
You should be, too.