We often hear people refer to the “mainstream” media, meaning the collection of leftist newspapers and television networks that once held sway over the dissemination of facts and opinions. In fact, there is nothing “mainstream” about them.

By definition, these legacy outlets are not mainstream – as evidenced by their declining sales, diminishing market penetration, and nonexistent viability. If the newspapers and networks that get so casually labeled “mainstream” actually were, they wouldn’t be laying off reporters or seeing their circulations and viewerships diminish.

Texas newspapers, for example, have fewer readers than ever before, despite the massive surge in population. They will snivel about “online” readership, but the paywalls they established haven’t made any of them profitable. After all, no one wanted to read the drivel posing as content when it was free.

Newspapers in Texas and around the nation are dying precisely because they are not in the mainstream. You might be able to say they were once mainstream, but they are not anymore. The legacy media does not sit in the “mainstream” of political or cultural thought, but on the far-left bank.

Pretending they are “mainstream” is to legitimize the illegitimate. The establishment media operations are little more than shills for the anti-American progressives.

The state of the media has caused handwringing about the downfall of democracy and other such blather.

In fact, the rapid decline of the corporatist, crony establishment media might just be what saves our republic.

Despite what a couple of generations of newspaper and TV network reporters claim, the First Amendment to the Constitution has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the flailing corporate media. The First Amendment did not create a special class – what some self-righteously describe as the “Fourth Estate,” as if it were some branch of government.

No, the First Amendment enshrines the right of the people, as individuals, to run printing presses, to publish, to speak, to broadcast. Every single one of us has the right to be the media, to be journalists.

Our republic sprang to life in part because our Founding Fathers formed committees of correspondence in each of the colonies – subverting the loyalist media and keeping each other apprised of what was really happening in the colonies.

In the 21st century, citizens have stopped outsourcing their personal responsibility as journalists to the establishment hacks and are looking to each other for news, information, and opinions. It’s driving the establishment berserk.

Technology has freed citizens from the tyranny of the establishment media, which is why the statists are seeking to place a stranglehold on actual mainstream voices in social media. All that means is that each of us must speak louder.

Someone is always keeping score in politics and government; we think it ought to be the citizens. But that only happens when we know what is really going on. As a self-governing people, it is up to each of us to keep each other informed and engaged – so we can save the republic.