By Ron Friesen / Herald Discussion board
Do you keep in mind being taught to inform the reality when rising up? I do. And infrequently it was painful. We realized that it was necessary to inform what we did and to inform what really occurred. If we didn’t, there have been penalties.
There was all the time an ethical crucial to telling the reality. The crucial was that mendacity served your self on the expense of others. Telling the reality served others, typically at private expense. Telling lies was “dangerous.” Telling the reality was “good.” And, in the end, telling the reality was good for you. too.
“The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf!’” was the story typically instructed to again up the concept it was all the time “good” to be plausible, as a result of some day, you will want to be believed. However is that true any extra?
In at this time’s world of rewarded, attention-chasing disinformation, as an alternative of being eaten by the wolf, the little boy and the wolf would make tens of millions with lies. They’d each grow to be wealthy, well-known and highly effective due to steady, outrageous mendacity. They’d find yourself accountable for the village. And regardless of the lies being disproven again and again, their lies would nonetheless be believed. Seems like an implausible, ugly story, proper? However right here it’s. Now. At this time.
We’re witnessing a repeat of pre-World Warfare II historical past, a lesson we had supposedly realized. That lesson was easy, but stark. At this time as then, telling lies is price greater than telling the reality. And since the lies are repeated so loudly by so many, liars one way or the other grow to be extra plausible than the tellers of fact.
The lies and the liars again then destroyed a rustic, killed tens of millions, and introduced the world to warfare. The parallels to at this time’s world ought to make us quake in our boots, dig deep for fact and worth it.
So whereas we might justifiably castigate the Republican Occasion for clinging to the lies of Trump and his cronies, we have to keep in mind one other stark actuality: The election fraudsters are our elected representatives. Meaning the lies have an enormous group of ardent believers, proof be damned. A plague of “Decepticons” has arrived having been remodeled from what was an honorable Grand Previous Occasion.
Some folks imagine the earth is flat and that UFOs are actual, and that we by no means landed on the moon. These beliefs are simply that. They’re beliefs, not truths. We might even imagine these are true, however perception doesn’t make it them truths. Telling what actually occurs is the reality.
Our terminology has gotten us snarled. We now name beliefs “my fact.” That makes an attempt to make fact equal with perception, expertise or opinion. The reality was above these, however the time period “my fact” has lowered its worth.
Political adviser Kellyanne Conway famously coined the phrase “alternate information” to justify a place or opinion. Lies and “alternate information” quickly turned synonymous. Telling the reality was devalued extra.
Our information and social media offers credence to lies by repeating them, even now when within the context of calling them lies. The true story just isn’t the lies themselves, however that they’re repeated and believed. And even when confirmed false, the liars are escaping penalties. Telling the reality loses once more.
Liars now have extra energy than fact tellers. Whilst liars and lies are more and more referred to as out, they proceed, at our expense.
Alex Jones has made tens of millions by mendacity concerning the bloodbath at Sandy Hook. Tucker Carlson has made tens of millions by mendacity on the (intelligent as a) Fox Information community. Donald Trump continues spouting “The Massive Lie.” The Republican Occasion has succumbed, and our stalwart two-party system is frayed and coming aside. Our sacred democracy is threatened by lies. And people telling the reality are like Don Quixote tilting at windmills.
The examples are countless. However the query we face now could be this: Within the face of highly effective and pervasive lies and liars, how can we presumably train the worth of telling the reality?
We now are in a tradition that views liars who lie repeatedly, exaggerate, then double down on the lies, and recruit different loyalists to unfold the lies, because the “good” folks. They’re rewarded with cash, energy and a focus. We are able to solely train the worth of telling the reality by holding liars accountable for his or her lies, and so they should face the implications.
After years of vile, mendacity bluster, solely Jones has barely begun to face the implications. Those that stoked the fires of the Jan. 6 riot have but to face penalties.
That is on all of us, not “them.” We have to as soon as once more rebuild the ethical crucial that telling the reality makes us plausible which is an effective factor. Proper now too many would reasonably hear the lies that align with what they imagine. So the liars on TV and social media proceed of their wealthy, secure place.
How will we fight this? We do that with our consideration. We do that with our actions. We do that with our vote.
Don’t blindly give away your consideration. Determine fact in your house, your church, your neighborhood, and your authorities. All the time determine, advocate and vote for telling the reality. Not “my fact” or “your fact,” or something based mostly on “alternate information,” however telling what actually occurred. Failing that, the liars proceed to win as they’re now.
What is going to we train in our colleges? What is going to we train our kids and grandchildren? After they give the impression of being round, will they imagine within the worth of telling the reality?
We are going to get what we worth.
Ron Friesen is a longtime Marysville resident, a retired music instructor and neighborhood and church musician and is dedicated to neighborhood enchancment.
Herald Discussion board
The Herald Discussion board invitations neighborhood members to submit essays on subjects of significance and curiosity to them. Essays sometimes are between 400 and 600 phrases in size, though exceptions for longer items might be made. To submit essays or for extra details about the Herald Discussion board, write Herald Opinion editor Jon Bauer at [email protected] or name him at 425-339-3466.