Lack Of Truth Is The Hill That Divides Us
Lack of truth divides us.
There is a hill that ever grows higher between the two major political parties. The hill is difficult to climb and sometimes almost impossible to see over. It causes us to roll backwards and away from each other.
That hill is lack of truth.
The Lack Of Truth In Politics Divide Us
Today’s politics are frustrating, unnerving, and certainly polarizing. Members of both the left and right experience a divided sense that comes with “us” against “them.” What is happening?
Facts become distorted, twisted, and exaggerated to fit a more convenient narrative. Is it the fault of the politicians we have today? Is it the news media? Is it the less demanding and easier-to-dupe public? What gives?
The shocking reality of this disregard for truth came to light with a recent article in the New York Times. Melissa Gomez highlights truth with her article, “Guiliani Says ‘Truth Isn’t Truth’ in Defense of Trump’s Legal Strategy.” The double-speak makes one’s eyes cross and we wonder about its purpose and what it meant—really.
Paul Krugman later added this in his article, “G.O.P.’s Climate of Paranoia”:
War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Truth isn’t truth.
Mr. Krugman goes on to identify a number of instances wherein truth was ignored or discounted or slandered as fake news. Last year, Kellyanne Conway, then counselor to President Trump, called some news reporting as alternative facts.
Walter Lippmann, an American writer, reporter, and political commentator gave warning early in the 20thcentury as he had this to say about truth:
We shall advance when we have learned humility; when we have learned to seek truth, to reveal it and publish it; when we care more for that than for the privilege of arguing about ideas in a fog of uncertainty.
Lack Of Truth Comes From All Sides
We expect more from our legislators. While the above obviously skewers those on the right, let’s not forget the temptation of skirting the truth has also been evident for those on the left. For example (and there are several examples), Bill Clinton struggled with facing allegations when he defended himself with the slippery slope deceitful logic of:
It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is.
No, the left has not managed to conquer the lack-of-truth summit either.
Lack Of Truth Does Not Protect Us
Are our politicians simply trying to protect us? Are we so frail and naïve that truth will make us cringe or suffer in some way? Some may think truth has that effect as exemplified in the movie, “A Few Good Men.” As you may recall, actor Jack Nicholson screams at actor Tom Cruz, the prosecutor:
You can’t handle the truth!
No – that can’t be right. That can’t be true. We’re more resilient than that and more discerning, too, right? Maybe. Still, we must admit that we cling to what we perceive as truth, making sure our worldview is intact and our vision is clear.
We don’t like to be fooled. We don’t like to be wrong. We don’t like the insecurity that untruth brings and we seek reassurance that our perspective is the right perspective. The others (them) are obviously wrong, maybe even stupid and/or evil.
We actually don’t like to be so divided. That truth, too, gets lost in today’s political arena. We may argue and be contentious from time-to-time; but, mostly, we prefer consensus. Even compromise is more appealing than suffering through the division that comes from a lack of truth.
Electing A President Ignores The Truth
Which brings me to an overlooked truth:
Our nation suffers a form of vote suppression in every presidential election. It happens as we use the winner-takes-all approach to our state vote totals, eliminating almost half of the ballots cast. We never realize an accurate vote count!
Equal Voice Votingsolves that problem. The winner-takes-all approach is eliminated and replaced with a proportional vote result. Equal Voice Voting makes every vote count and every state matter as it honors the ingenious Electoral College system.
Instead, we persevere with our belief we are being well served. We believe, despite the truth, that our votes count when we pick a president. Or, we mistakenly blame the Electoral College, thinking it must be outdated, little realizing we’re not using it as originally intended.
We even seriously consider a disastrous voting alternative. One that retains the winner-takes-all aspect, requires an intrastate compact, and ignores the fact we live in a republic of states. So willing are we to find solutions first and experience consequences later that we skip facts and history—truths we should not ignore.
Truth In Voting Can Bring Us Together
Governance is serious business. It demands and deserves our serious attention. It also demands and deserves the truth—always. The truth comes out, eventually, and we need to consider all views and all facts with an eye to honest future consequence.
Let your state legislator know that a voting truth has gone on undiscovered long enough. It is time to rid your state of the winner-takes-all aspect when you elect your president. It’s time for all voting citizens in your state to cast a valid ballot. It’s time to use Equal Voice Voting instead.
Yes, we CAN handle the truth.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1902 to 1932, reassures us with this insight about truth:
Truth is tough. It will not break, like a bubble, at a touch, nay, you may kick it all about all day like a football, and it will be round and full at evening.
Let’s not let lack of truth divide us!