So for my readers in UK and EU, no this post is not about Brexit. I just wanted to find a caption photo that exemplifies this thing called “truth,” and the ripples NON-truth has across our societal senses. While I specifically address the USA, one can certainly draw similar comparisons within any society.
Let me get this out of the way right now. As Shakespeare let audiences know, “The truth will out.” We can’t hide from it, defy it or twist it into any “alternative facts,” without it ultimately coming undone, like a twisted rubber band it will find a way to release the energy of truth.
Where has truth gone these days? Mass disbelief in traditional sources of information, regardless of the history of credibility of those sources, the distrust of any institution, any political entity that is not on one’s side of the fence, is at an all time high it seems. Trust or belief in these are at a record low based on “surveys,” (but who can trust those you know?)
There is a good article on this subject published on the RAND Blog, May 5, 2017, appropriately discussing “truth decay.” I had actually touched on similar reasoning in one of my earlier post, concerning why I think it is so important that critical analysis be taught in America’s school systems. I sincerely believe that the political quandary we find ourselves in today is largely due to the inability of a significant sector of our population to critically analyze factual data, topped by the fact that most do not have ready access to hard factual, evidence-based information and news. It is a fact that a handful of politically conservation news media companies control a huge number of news outlets in the central and southern part of the country, and in large swaths there is no option to watch or listen to other than the “tailored” news that is fed locally through these channels. Moreover, many rural areas do not have ready access to high-speed internet, which also throttles the amount of news source selection available.
However, at this juncture it seems America is stuck in the mud, at least for a while. I have faith that truth will prevail, however, and the arc of moral justice will continue to arch upward again, as it inevitably must. Facts and statistics will play a role in this, and I believe any rational person who takes time to actually look at hard data cannot help but align some of their sense of the world to a rational model. The bifurcated zeitgeist we are experiencing now will in time be healed, although a scab will remain.
An example of the power of factual data is readily evident in statistics such as motor vehicle death rates, murder death rates, mass shootings and terrorism.
I will not get into details, but let me start with the attack on the World Trade Center. I like millions sat and watched in real time the entire event, sick to my stomach. Some 3,000 innocent Americans and others died that day, and many more first responders have suffered and died since from related causes. But every year well over 33,000 deaths are recorded in the USA on the public highways, with over 2-million injured. So every year Americans essentially kill each other on the highway annually at a rate that is over ten WTC attack losses. Most of these “accidents” are due to reckless or intoxicated driving, which means we have little concern or respect for our fellow Americans. So where should the money be spend to curtail deaths. Is a death by a foreign terrorist worse than a death due to a drunk teen boy? In either case a loved one is not coming home.
Facts related to murder rates also show us very quickly that our pocket books and policies are ill-aimed (pun intended). There are over 17, 000 murders every year, not to mention those seriously injured who survive. Now the underlying causes of these murders do not get the attention that the murders themselves get, unfortunately. Why? Because a large percentage of murders are in isolated, cut-off, impoverished and forgotten urban areas, where the politicians do not live. Our solution has been to spend millions on military weapons and equipment given to local police departments, to deal with street demonstrations instead of finding out how to stop the illegal flow of guns into inner cities, sold by mostly white profiteers. The NRA and its fat cat, hands-out politicians are indirectly responsible for many of these deaths, no different than cartels bringing death to those poor souls addicted to hard drugs (often originally caused by other white collar profiteers, namely the heads of certain pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors – and doctors).
Mass murder is another interesting statistic: mass murder by white men FAR exceeds that committed by any other race in America, and by any foreign terrorist, other than 9-11, which was a historical aberration akin to the attack on Pearl Harbor. And yet, we have spent trillions in the War on Terrorism, when right now the evidence shows us the greatest threat is from domestic extremists and people who have not been steered to psychological treatment, and denied access to battle field weaponry.
What about crime by illegal immigrants? Statistics are not as good as one might wish for in this area, but all studies have shown that illegal aliens are less likely than their represented population in the States, to commit crimes, including murder and assaults. In other words, for instance, Hispanic American citizens are more likely to commit crimes on a “per 100,000” rate than Hispanic illegal immigrants. The one exception in some areas may be arrest for illegal drugs. In spite of this we now are being told by our President we have a huge security threat on our border, necessitating the shifting of Army and other military personnel, resources and funds to the Southern border, away from being ready and postured for quick response to any future international threat, such as Putin entering another country with tanks, rocket launchers, and his other state of art weaponry.
Even though truth is seemingly lost in the haystack right now, as the wind blows it will be revealed, and many will wipe their eyes and finally see. Hopefully that day is not far away.