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Why would anyone have faith in the government’s telling the truth? It’s clear that if the facts get in the way of their agenda, they aren’t interested in “complicating” their message. We always knew that government, and especially politicians, “mishandled” the truth, but we figured that behavior went with the job. After all, they desperately wanted to fool as many people as possible. But now the lying is so ubiquitous that the word “truth” has lost its meaning. I’d like to think the lying happens less on the Right, but I simply don’t know if that’s true anymore. Even more disappointing is that more than ever, the media has decided that its mission is to defend the Leftist agenda, so they are happy to collude in the lying.
The fact is, digging up the truth can be inconvenient: who wants to conduct an investigation, with the time and effort it will require, when you can just make it up? Not only is making that effort tiresome, but you might discover facts that simply don’t support your agenda. A much more “helpful” approach is to be creative; make up your own facts from innuendo when you report on the Right, and ignore or embellish your facts when they aren’t flattering to the Left.
The rest of us are left to try to determine the truth on our own. How are we supposed to do that? We’ve known that the media has slanted Left for a very long time, but it is now dominated by the Left’s agenda. How did the media become so committed to making up their own facts?
I’d point to a number of cultural changes that both the government and the media have been subject to:
- Lack of a connection or commitment to moral and religious values—Even people who appear to be engaged with their religions are prepared to compromise their values when it suits their motives.
- Lack of impulse control—Rather than fight the impulse to be the first out with any kind of news, the media chooses to be the first to report the most outrageous story—the worse, the better. Lack of impulse control also refers to those people who spout attacks and derogatory accusations against the people they dislike—without any interest in making sure that the defamations are accurate.
- An abundance of narcissism—Too often legislators and reporters want to be part of, if not central to, the story. They take over the headlines, rather than letting their version of the facts relate the story. One only needs to think of Nancy Pelosi and Jim Acosta to know the truth of this statement.
- The thrill of intrigue—Everyone loves a good story. But when we are reading or listening to the news, we want to be informed, not titillated. More often than not, reporters are focusing on exciting their readership, not educating them.
- Destroying the enemy—with the ongoing polarization, the two sides are not merely adversaries; they are now dangerous threats to democracy. Some of these battles seem to become, metaphorically, Biblical in proportion. The people must be killed, the landscape laid waste. It’s a take no prisoners mentality.
- Lack of maturity—Too many people seem to be trapped in ideas that lack perspective or maturity. The only thing that matters is getting one’s way, and making sure the other side loses. There is little appreciation for human nature, relationships and serving the people.
President Biden leads the way in lying to the people. He has told repeated lies about the coronavirus. He has misrepresented the proposed spending for infrastructure. He lied about the Texas and Georgia election bills leading to voter suppression. He has insisted that the border situation is being managed. He doesn’t understand the second amendment and the importance of protecting it. He mischaracterized the riots of last summer. He said there was no vaccine distribution plan. He claimed he inherited a mess on the border. He’s insisted people wear masks when the science didn’t support him.
And there’s much more.
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So, what can we do to overcome the lies that we are repeatedly exposed to? Here are a few suggestions:
- Get your information from multiple sources, and have at least one that you believe is likely to tell the truth.
- Follow the story over time. For example, you might find that a school district claims to have removed Critical Race Theory from its curriculum; take the time within a month or two to make sure that change occurred.
- Speak out against distortions and lies, especially at the local level.
And to maintain a sense of equilibrium, try these:
- Mourn the loss of losing a more virtuous country—but find a way to move on.
- Speak the truth at every opportunity.
- Don’t adopt the language of the Left.
- Take risks; do this not just to do the right thing, but to be an example to others that you are prepared to step up.
Let’s start a movement among us to simply tell the truth.Published in