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  • Writer's pictureGregory N. Austin

The Weight of Truth Must Save our Democracy

Can we still overcome the obstacle that confronts truth? Yes! It should provoke us to action. It will be a political chore, but we must never forget that those 55 men, our Founding Fathers, were not supposed to defeat George III. The miracle is that those men, in trying to create a more perfect union, surrendered their own political power and gave the gift of freedom to the people. Now we must recapture that spirit of honor and decency. Most importantly we can no longer be casual.  Saving the future for our children is not a casual matter! Let us all get busy and put the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law in its proper place!

FOX news, Putin and Trump destroying truth
Putin and his minions destroying truth in America

The dictionary says, truth is being in accord with facts, and reality, the real state of things, and finally, a true or accepted statement.

 

Plato said 2,500 years ago that democracies pass into despotism. I believe that reason simply gives way to those who want to win at any and all cost and those who believe truth is just another political opinion that can be bent or pretzeled out with bluster, hostility and arrogance.

 

A quick case in point is January 6th 2021 when the U.S. Capitol was invaded by about 10,000 insurrectionists trying to “stop the steal”. What steal? Who says Joe Biden is not the U.S. President? 60% of the MAGA Republicans believe it, (that 2020 was not a valid election). And their proof, their facts, their evidence? None offered at all. What about those 8 Senators and 142 Congressmen who voted “no” over accepting the Electoral College blessing of the 2020 election (presided over by Vice President Mike Pence)? Did they offer proof, facts or evidence of the reason they voted no? What about their oath to the U.S. Constitution, any response from them over that? Nope! Should we just forget these “no” voters? Not hardly, they should pay a price. And the voter, to preserve truth, must remind them time and again that voting “no” for a political reason with zero substantiated legal reason, makes very little sense. The credit goes to Vice President Mike Pence. He now says he will not support ex-president Donald Trump in this election cycle. After all, there were many rioters yelling “Hang Mike Pence”. The 60% of the MAGA Republicans that believe the election was stolen; should it be conceded that we should give up on them and not seek to convert their vote in November? No, it should not! We must assume that there is still a chance that they would try to save their family name, to save the U.S. Constitution, and to appeal to a just God who sees all and knows all. Is voting without facts or evidence, just on an emotional rumor, ever a good idea? Grown ups don't show up to a crucifixion or take a rope to a mob hanging. And 500 of those insurrectionists, found out their actions would lead to prison time. Mobs don't decide the truth. The legal system determines the truth. Again, do I believe 60% of the MAGA Republicans are never going to change their minds? I'll never believe it. Because, upon reflection about mob type activities, ordinary people can take a walk of self delivery from poor judgement. All we have to do is give them every chance to look at facts and evidence. And ask them to vote truth, not party, this November.

 

How did we get into this mess where truth is kicked around and strangled by so many?

 

In 1987 the Fairness Doctrine was not renewed by the FCC. In 1947 it had been instituted to protect the fairness of radio and television broadcasts. Did the non-renewal impact the delivery of pundits on radio and television? Yes is the answer! Now innuendo, plastic and pretzeled opinions, innuendo, exaggeration, disinformation and even lies are seen and heard too often on the airwaves. Especially with the advent of Cable television, they give us way too many rumors to overcome. To stop the listener and the viewer from accepting so many political points that are not true should be our everyday goal between now and November. We must figure out ways to bring the easily misled into the alley of truth. We do not have to do it along party lines. Again, truth does not belong to a party. Truth stands alone and it lasts forever. The Radio and Cable rumor mongers have one goal in mind, make money. And how do they make money? Selling soap and pillows. And what is their avenue of approach? Demand loyalty from your listeners and your viewers. Give them what they want, even if it is just disinformation, hate, and targets to feed their jaded political hunger.

 

These lies and even malice have now led to rather huge legal losses, some into the billions, for Fox News and Alex Jones. But Fox News and Rupert Murdoch, the owner, cannot change the purpose of their news. They buy this “stop the steal”. They buy the questioning of vaccinations, and they attack political targets. Whether they're innocent or guilty is meaningless, it's just taking a personal political position. Will Fox News suffer more defamatory losses? It may not even matter. Because the outcome will be determined by revenue flow that trumps all reason in their behavior. If their audience demands twisted, plastic, and hostile versions of news daily and you do not give it to them, revenue flow may disappear. Is Fox worried about it? Naw, full speed ahead! Perhaps they can continue to successfully buy their way out of lawsuits without bankrupting the company. If the bottom line looks good, keep the disinformation flowing and keep your viewers and listeners glued to your broadcasts.

 

In the war of Independence, it is estimated that as high as 1/3 of the Colonists remained loyal to King George III. After the defeat of England, thousands of them fled the country. Was there evidence of reprisals and retribution against these loyalists that wanted to leave the county? The answer is almost none! But now we see MAGA Republicans threatening retribution for those followers who may want to change political course.

 

For those of us borne to maintain the Founding Fathers ideal and idea for America, we must work for every vote that has a chance to uphold the traditional American values of decency and honor. We are tested for the first time in America on the rule of law and we absolutely must not fail those Founding Fathers. It is so sad, for example there remains zero proof of fraud in the 2020 election. Ex President Donald Trump has been able to convince 90% of his followers, (and way too many with wealth), to follow his lead and embrace, the “Big Lie”. Can he hang on to this weird provocation of untruth into November 2024? That is the question. I am a believer that if he does, the Great American experiment may be over. Future historians, if that should happen, may just boast that our Founding Fathers did very well to put the United States Constitution in play for 240 years. Is that good enough? No! Rational men and women must do whatever they possibly can to go on for another 240 more years with knowledge, patriotism and yes, hard work at freedom's gate!

 

Can we still overcome the obstacle that confronts truth? Yes! It should provoke us to action. It will be a political chore, but we must never forget that those 55 men, our Founding Fathers, were not supposed to defeat George III. The miracle is that those men, in trying to create a more perfect union, surrendered their own political power and gave the gift of freedom to the people themselves. Now we must recapture the spirit of honor, decency, accepting oaths, accepting the rule of law, accepting the judgment of juries, and by bringing reason back to our legal system which is now in some cases being taken over by personal ideology in the court room.

 

Most importantly we can no longer be casual.  Saving the future for our children is not a casual matter! Let us all get busy and put the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law in its proper place to keep our society sane and orderly.

 

Opening Image: Vecteezy, IStock, Adobe Stock, NPR, Getty Images

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