The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday March 3rd

Letter: Authoritarianism has no place in the U.S.


Like many Americans, I was deeply disappointed after the Nov. 8 election. These feelings of disappointment are normal and are a necessary part of the democratic process. However, this election remains unique among the elections in my 24-year lifetime in that my concerns are not with differences of policy.

There is room for disagreement on what government should do in democracy, but not for some types of disagreement on what government should be. What I mean to say is that I fear Americans may have unwittingly elevated an authoritarian figure to the presidency. I hope I am wrong.

One of the signs of authoritarianism is erosion of democratic institutions such as free press. The president-elect has made his opinions known about the free press and it now appears senators may be following suit. Just one week after the election, a reporter I respect and admire (Burgess Everett with Politico) tweeted the following:

“@SenatorBurr is walking around with photos of reporters he won’t talk to. I’m on it.”

I found this a flagrant violation of the First Amendment.

I called Sen. Burr’s office at (202) 224-3154 to express my concerns and would encourage my fellow students to do the same.

Calvin Deutschbein

Graduate student

Computer Science

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