Stop the lies.
The solution to today’s political divisiveness is that simple.
Stop the lies.
This transcends party, religion, race, country, whatever. It does not matter who you are, where you are from or who you back for President of the US. Nothing matters except the truth.
This premise assumes that the reader does in fact want to know the truth in order to conduct open and honest political debate.
Stop the lies.
You are probably already scoffing, shaking your head at this simpleton who would be so naïve as to suggest such impossibility. But something needs to be done.
So what do we do?
Simply start with yourself. Tell no lies. Tell no purposeful lies and be quick to correct any unintended falsehoods. We are not talking about personal lies here (I did not cheat on you, honey, I swear; the check is in the mail; I never cheated on my income tax, etc, etc, etc) although the overall climate in which lies thrive exists wherever lies are told. That is a completely different subject than the one in discussion here.
We are talking about lies in the political spectrum, lies such as:
- Telling outright falsehoods about current events.
- Distorting historical facts.
- Doctoring statistics to knowingly falsify data.
- Wildly exaggerating to make your point.
- And good old plain just making stuff up.
Equally wrong is to accept facts that you heard and know to be wrong and to repeat them as though they are true. This too is an outright lie even though you were not the originator of the lie.
Not quite equally wrong but still unacceptable is the failure to check your “facts” especially if you suspect those facts to be questionable. You cannot consider yourself well informed no matter how much you watch, read and/or listen to the main stream media.
Mark Twain said it best. “If you don’t read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read the newspapers you are misinformed.”
You must fact check. This is especially true of oft-repeated “truisms” which are in fact fallacies, e.g. religion has killed more individuals throughout history than any other philosophy. The statistics on that lie are not even close but we have heard this repeated so often that we have come to accept it as fact and have even repeated it ourselves without verifying the data.
How many times have you discussed politics with others of a different political persuasion only to have them throw facts at you that you suspect cannot possibly be true but you cannot refute them on the spot so you just shut up?
Worse than that is if you hear a “fact” from someone on your side of the argument and it sounds so good you cannot wait to use it yourself against that political bully who intimidates you and you do use it without checking.
There is an easy solution to these dilemmas. We are blessed to live in GOOGLE TIME.
A prolonged journey down the path of truth will scour clean the clouds in our minds that keep us confused, will make it easier for us to discern each time a lie is told. The truth shall set us free.
Next we will discuss how to ascertain the facts, as best we can, by using the new tools at our disposal. Stay tuned.
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