WTVM Editorial 11/23/16: The Sound of Freedom

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - President-elect Donald Trump broke every mold of expected political behavior by winning the nation's highest office with a bold mix of widely televised, stadium-sized rallies that exposed him to new audiences and short tweets that spoke to his base.

Now that he is just weeks away from taking the oath of office, his job is to show he is a "uniter," not a divider.

A person Trump may want to take a cue from is his own Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

Most people have heard about the unusual shout-out to Pence from the stage of the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton," the hip-hop retelling of the founding of America.

The lead actor implored Pence and the Trump administration to "be inclusive."

In response, Pence didn't argue or lash out or even point out that the Trump administration isn't in the White House just yet.

Instead, Pence simply listened and told his family who was with him that "that's what freedom sounds like."

What a great quote, from any politician, in any era. Free speech is the key to our freedom.

In a nation divided by a bruising presidential campaign, it's time that we all realize the importance of the sound of freedom – free speech – and the importance of listening to both sides.

It's so easy for people on either side of the political divide to jump to conclusions. It's much harder to pause, listen and learn what is really being said.

The president-elect's tweets can be entertaining, enlightening or annoying, depending on your own political views.

But those expressions, too, are a version of free speech.

No one in the media should put too much weight on those 140-or-less characters in any given tweet…from Trump or anyone else.

Learning what's happening in our country can't be done just by listening to social media or watching 10-second soundbites on the national news.

It takes a little more effort than that to hear the sound of freedom.


General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
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