Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) October 8, 2020
The Importance of a Free Press
A free and vigorous press is essential to good government and the functioning of our democracy. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." George Mason wrote in Virginia's 1776 Declaration of Rights that, “the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments." And in an April 1961 speech John F. Kennedy said
Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive. . . . that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution . . .to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.”