From now until at least the midterm elections in November, we’ll be featuring essays from powerful cultural voices alongside one simple thing, chosen by the author, that you can do to take action against the paralyzing apoplexy of the daily news. Maybe it’ll be an organization that deserves your donation; maybe it’ll be an issue that deserves greater awareness. Whatever it is, our aim is to remind you, and ourselves, of the big and small things we can do to work toward justice and change.
The Right to Write
by Lemony Snicket
As a person who writes things down, I have felt, all my life, the immense privilege and delight to live in a country guaranteeing me the right to write things down. I write all sorts of things down. Some are necessary and some aren’t. Some are charming and some are revolting. I write them down on pieces of paper and I write them down on screens. I tape them to walls and post them on the internet and work with publishers to place them on shelves in libraries and bookstores. History is rife with attempts, many successful, to stop people from writing down what they want to write down. In America we don’t do this. The first thing we added to our Constitution—it was so basic that some people thought it went without saying and didn’t need to be added—was an amendment prohibiting our government from abridging our freedom of the press.
Our president, Donald Trump took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, including its amendments. This fall he wrote, “it’s frankly disgusting the way the press is able to write whatever they want and people should look into it,” and also, of a certain television network, “at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License?”
The answer is “at no point.” At no point in our nation’s history should our president actively seek to challenge the freedoms he has sworn to uphold, or to label our essential freedoms as tools of the enemy. It gives me no delight to write down the necessary fact that our president needs to be removed from office.
Take action today:
Join over 5 million Americans who have signed a petition to impeach Trump.
Lemony Snicket is the author of the A Series of Unfortunate Events tridecalogy.