To the editor:

There seems to be a concern about the Journal publishing political cartoons. There are many different opinions about the last election. We are a free country and our freedom of the press was stated in the First Amendment to our Constitution, along with freedom of speech.

The freedom of our news media to publish citizens views and to allow journalists to monitor and inform us of what our government is doing is the only true check and balance. I get nervous when people censor the freedom to publish comments, as this is a double-edged sword. To prevent comments about one politician can be used against another with different views by using the same arbitrary censoring.

I am a veteran and took an oath that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and still abide by this pledge, including the First Amendment. This quote sums it up,”The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure,” Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823.

Another thought that this brings up is the openness the Journal has shown lately. I remember the Journal in bygone days under Wit Ledbetter, and it published a lot of public discourse. One columnist was Neal Hines. He was a member of the Iowa House and his column had many thought provoking statements. Some I agreed with, some not. I commend the Journal by returning to publish open thoughts to the public. If our present elected officials need comments from their supporters, get out and defend your politician and promote open discourse. Don’t complain that others are using their right to speak.

Ken Blackledge