Once upon a time, there was a place where fair and just laws ruled the printed, spoken and broadcast word across the land. It was illegal/unlawful to make false or unproven claims against, for or about any person, product or thing. Then a dark cloud, aka SCOTUS, appeared on the horizon claiming that since people "lie," that anyone claiming to be a "person" can say and do anything they want. Corporations, given the status of "person," they could from that point on "lie." The "truth" became whatever someone wanted to claim it was unless proven otherwise. Reality became a trip through Fantasyland.
Advertising for pharmaceuticals was suddenly plastered across every television screen. Claims were posted, whether they were true or not, for the efficacy of these drugs. But someone realized that if they were allowed to only state their perceived "good," the bad effects were being ignored. The law changed. All the negative effects had to be listed in the advertisements also. This did not alter, slow down or change the bombardment of pharmaceutical advertisements. People rushed to their doctor demanding these "new" drugs be given for their diagnosed problems. Doctors were compelled to prescribe these drugs, even though there were cheaper, and in some cases more efficacious, treatments available. The pharmaceutical companies' profits soared.
Then someone thought, why not advertise or state things about someone that weren't true but headline making. What a rush! Living in a land of make believe and wanting to believe the worst about anyone a person didn't like made journalism a "stay at home and listen to whatever someone said, never check whether it was true or not, just print or broadcast it" as "true" business. Let the public decide.
The "birther" movement became the cry across the land. President Barack Obama wasn't born in the U.S. of A. He was born in Kenya to Muslim parents and secreted across the border to steal our country and turn us into Muslims. Our current president became their rallying leader. Oh the lies, it felt so good to believe what we wanted to believe. The truth was in there somewhere, but it wasn't important as long as we "believed."
Today, reaping the consequences of that business philosophy has given us a president that tells, certifiably, on average 12 lies a day. So what if it isn't true, it makes some people warm and cozy having their opinions substantiated by the president. The news media is attacked if it denies the "truthfulness" of these lies. The media gets classified as "fake" news if it disagrees with the president.
Hopefully, people will wake from their stupor and recognize that the truth isn't what someone thinks or says. It's what is really happening in front of their face. It takes work and discernment and also a little pessimism to take back our country from fantasyland. I hope it happens before all we have is a corporate oligarchy running our country like the kings of old that we left behind when our ancestors fled to America.
Editorial on 12/02/2017
Print Headline: The real truth