Who Will Keep Trump, and the Press, In Check?

Like a lot of people, I responded to last Tuesday’s election by taking a break from obsessively following the news. Part of the reason was that the unexpected results required me to scramble the lineup of our next print issue. But part of it was, frankly, preserving my mental health.

Fortunately, the great bloggers here at the Washington Monthly stayed at their posts. Nancy LeTourneau and Marty Longman, with major assists from Steve Waldman, Anne Kim, and our weekend bloggers David Atkins and D.R. Tucker, have done a brave and fabulous job of following and analyzing, on an hour by hour basis, what we know and don’t know about what happened last Tuesday, and what has been unfolding since then. Their coverage and analysis has been keen, honest, bracing, clarifying, and above all wise. They’ve struck just the right balance between sounding the alarm and keeping us calm.

If you agree, then there’s something I’d like you to do. Today, we’re beginning a post-election fundraising drive, so please click here and contribute whatever you can. You can also subscribe to our print magazine here.

The Washington Monthly is a nonprofit and depends on donations, including from its readers. But your contributions are especially important right now. Here’s why.

America is about to enter a period when the entire federal government is controlled by elected officials most voters did not support (Democrats won the majority of the votes not just for the presidency, but for the Senate, too). That government will be led by an ill-prepared, incurious narcissistic xenophobe who has made it abundantly clear that he will push past political norms and constitutional limits to get what he wants. The Democrats, though not without leverage, have less formal power than at any time in modern history.

What that means is that the press is one of the last bulwarks the public has against autocracy. Now, if you’re of the opinion that major media outlets helped deliver the victory for Trump, you’ll get no argument from me. Certainly there are plenty of smart, capable and committed reporters and editors in the mainstream media who did exemplary work during the campaign. We’re going to need them more than ever in the age of Trump. But the limits of traditional media outlets—above all their need, as business entities, to maximize eyeballs and employ euphemism so as not to offend their conservative readers–means that it’s folly to rely on them alone to keep the worst from happening.

That’s why, more than ever before, America needs the kind of tough-minded, independent, non-corporate progressive journalism that the Washington Monthly provides. With your support—as readers and donors—we’ll do what no one else can: help keep not just the government, but the press itself, in check. And we’ll continue to write about the over-the-horizon subjects and deep-in-the-source-code policies that citizens and leaders need to understand in order to get us out of this mess.

So, please give what you can— $10, $20, $30, $50, $100, $1000. Your donations to the Washington Monthly are vital, tax-deductible, and much appreciated.

Paul Glastris

Paul Glastris is the editor in chief of the Washington Monthly.