I am writing to compliment Rob Vajko for calling our attention to an important phenomenon — not usual for the KP News editorial page but welcome nonetheless (“Key Thoughts,” October 2017).

Now is exactly not the time to take an “I don’t care anymore” attitude to the events reported by the true media (that is, the mainstream journalists who source and verify what they are talking about versus the “alternative” hacks who just repeat what the bonehead down the block told them to say).

Vigilance has been the watchword for our democracy since Paul Revere set up those lamps in the North Church belfry. Vigilance was sadly lacking in 1930s Germany as the Nazis usurped and consolidated their totalitarian regime’s power to horrific effect. Vigilance means staying awake and alert to the misdeeds and misdirection of an administration with totalitarian leanings.

A word from Hannah Arendt, who escaped internment and documented how Nazism arose and took over Germany, seems appropriate here: “The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. A people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.”

Ted Ralston