In a Darker Era, We Can’t Survive Without You

The next four years are going to be a dark and dangerous time for the media–especially for media with a progressive viewpoint that holds both the government and the press to account. We’re going to need all the help we can get.

The next president has demonstrated a willingness to silence any voices that make him uncomfortable, particularly those with a megaphone and the trust of a loyal readership. He uses intimidation and legal threats to attempt to force his critics to withdraw stories and look the other way. And now he will have the full might of the IRS and the national surveillance apparatus at his whim, with a Congress that will refuse to investigate or impeach even if he is caught redhanded in Nixonian schemes.

At the same time, mainstream newspapers are in a quandary. Nearly half the voters chose Trump in spite of–or perhaps because of–his gleeful violation of accepted norms of behavior for a candidate. Trump is openly corrupt, openly bigoted, and openly hostile to the press to the point of threatening their physical safety. Many of the voters who picked Trump already consider any cable network to the left of Fox News and any media outlet to the left of Breitbart and Drudge to be an enemy fifth column. Mainstream outlets are under tremendous pressure, therefore, to normalize Trump in order to reduce the hostility and maintain readership.

That’s why news coverage from a progressive perspective is so important. Organizations like the Washington Monthly are here to speak truth to the nearly unbridled power of the Trump/Ryan/McConnell juggernaut. We’re also here as a counterweight on the traditional press to keep their courage and cover this dangerous and unprecedentedly reactionary Administration with the watchful eye it deserves.

Washington Monthly is going to continue to deliver the fantastic in-depth features we’ve been delivering for decades. Here at Political Animal, you’ll get the variety of perspectives across the progressive spectrum, from my own populist democratic socialism to D.R. Tucker’s deep insights on race, the environment and much else, to Martin Longman’s brilliant balanced analysis, to Nancy LeTourneau’s high-quality and subtle insights from a more establishment perspective. You may not always agree with what you read here, but you’ll always have food for thought and something new to grapple with in the struggle to create a better world.

But we can’t do it without your help. It takes time, effort, money and courage to do what we do here. Please chip in whatever you can. It’s tax deductible, and you’ll feel good knowing you helped us make a difference.

Thank you, and onward with the resistance.

David Atkins

David Atkins is a writer, activist and research professional living in Santa Barbara. He is a contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal and president of The Pollux Group, a qualitative research firm.