Truth: How we handle it reveals our national character

truth

We’re losing it, America. We’re losing our country, our pride, our sense of fairness and rightness, our justice and freedom, our uniqueness—our everything. What happened? How are we losing our way after only three and a half generations as a nation? One word: truth. We’ve mangled, devalued, redefined and diluted it.

We’ve warped our perception of truth. We treat it à la carte: selecting what we like, rejecting what we don’t. We replace it with “my truth,” which is rooted in desire rather than reality. Instead of discerning genuine truth with our heads, we embrace desirable falsehoods with our hearts. When we do this consistently, we lose the ability to think critically. We base our beliefs on our fickle feelings rather than on immutable truth.

When we ignore truth’s essential nature—its objectivity—we lose the ability to weigh opinions and assertions against it. Without truth’s constancy, we lose a fixed reference point. We’re like mariners navigating without the North Star.

This failure leaves us open to accepting others’ truths and well-intentioned falsehoods—even when their truths are diametrically opposed to reality.

True believers

It’s not that others mean to mislead us. Most don’t do so consciously or nefariously. Almost all are true believers. They swapped truth for their truths long ago. Most are professors, politicians and pundits who’ve had a lot of practice in front of podiums and cameras.

What makes them effective in eroding our trust in truth is their passion. They believe what they believe more than we believe what we believe. It’s a power play. College professors tell students what is true; they don’t teach them to think for themselves. Defending viewpoints through debate is no longer part of the curriculum.

Professors are so sure of their beliefs and so unwilling to allow spirited dissent and sealed so tightly in their echo chambers that they propagandize rather than prepare students for the real world. Same goes for celebrities, senators and talking heads.

Is it any wonder that our social media interactions are drenched in talking points and accepted opinions? Facebook and Twitter are not platforms for respectful discourse or persuasion. Without honest debate and respect for differing viewpoints, many resort to name-calling and shutdown words like troll and hater and racist and bigot.

Dark days and a sure hope

When great nations and empires fall, they erode and crumble from within. How a people handles truth reflects their national character and determines their future.

As Americans, how have we treated truth? By justifying abortion on demand and for convenience as a woman’s “choice?” By discarding basic biology and science by pretending one’s feelings about one’s gender is a matter of choice rather than design? Do we continue trampling truth by rewriting history for political purposes and ignoring context and common sense?

It’s not too late to right our national ship. To do so, we must change course from a heading that’s bearing us toward the shoals of subjectivity to the surety and safety of time-honored truth. As in all things, Jesus is the answer: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” Jesus invites us to embrace truth and, with it, freedom. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

God is the source of all truth. Rejecting what he says is true and replacing it with subjective, desire-driven falsehoods is a form of rebellion. Accepting the true and the beautiful reality of God leads to joy and peace. When we know there is a firm foundation of truth and goodness and joy, we can rest in it—and in a God who, in truth, loves his children with a perfect and eternal love.

Our national unity is only possible by loving God, so we can love one another

unity

In his inaugural address, President Joe Biden spoke of national unity and used words from St. Augustine. Augustine wrote that we can discern the character of a nation’s people by their shared loves, Biden spoke of rallying around those loves.

St. Augustine: “it will be a superior people in proportion as it is bound together by higher interests, inferior in proportion as it is bound together by lower.”

Augustine describes the consequences of a people who are unified by their love for the wrong things and their failure to direct their love toward God. He tells of Romans, Athenians, Egyptians and Assyrians—all once great nations that fell because of common loves of vice, selfishness, strife and disunity.

Augustine encourages us to be a people of shared higher loves, the highest being our love for God. He warns us of the fates of republics whose people loved poorly—and beneath themselves—as bearers of their Creator’s image.

By using St. Augustine’s words, but missing their meaning, the president lost an opportunity to encourage us to be a better people. When read and applied contextually, the passage challenges us to soften our bitter hearts toward each other by loving the lover of our souls.

Unity means nothing when we unite behind just anything. It means everything when we come together powered by the greatest loves—our love for God and for one another.

American Fail: Why l feel shell-shocked and fearful for my country

American Fail

All great nations rot and weaken and eventually crumble—typically from the inside out, but America’s slide seems more like a supernova. I’m no historian, but has any nation soared as high and crashed as hard as our 244-year-old American republic?

For the first time in my life, I fear for my country. What happened?

I think things went south beginning in 2016. We elected a polarizing president whose worst fault and best strength was that he was an outsider. Initially, the media and opposing party laughed at him. I laughed at him. Then in the space of a few hours on election night, the laughter ceased and the shock set in as tears flowed on one side.

The clown became Hitler

We’ve seen gridlock and nasty politics, but does anything compare to the vitriol of four years of Russian Collusion, Ukraine impeachment, and finally, COVID weaponization? Are there any limits to the lengths one side has gone to rid the country of the clown king? It’s an American Fail.

And now half of us are troubled by a troubling election. Somehow, some way, a guy who barely became his party’s nominee secured 12 million more votes than his party’s last superstar. Really? As far I can tell, Joe Biden’s best quality throughout his many years in politics is his gift of gab. If his gift is no longer golden, what’s left to offer voters other than his not being Trump?

This guy raked in a record 81,000,000 votes?

Of course, one could argue that Biden’s votes were simply votes against the other guy. It’s not that he’s uber-popular; it’s that he’s not Trump. I tell myself that repeatedly when trying to process the president-elect’s purported election victory, but it just doesn’t square for me.

Of course, the triumvirate of one party, their media, and big tech censor nannies assures us that all is well in election land. The 2020 version has been certified 100% clean and pure. Nothing to see here, plebeians—move along. Meanwhile I and half the electorate—some 74 million schlubs— are left scratching our heads suspiciously while becoming more and more cynical about the news we see and hear and, sadly, the country we love. American Fail.

It feels like the six years I spent serving in our military was for nothing. It seems like ages ago that right was right and wrong was wrong—for both political parties and a culture that knew the difference. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill , Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich—what happened to bipartisan leadership? It was DOA by 2018, maybe before.

Perhaps the death of compromise and the ramping up of rancor began when our media chose to chuck their ethics and tar and feather a president.

By hook or crook

My trust in media is dead. They killed it. Their self-inflicted coup de grâce fell swiftly with a fatal triad of Trump-hysteria, the pandemic, and an iffy election. I know of what I speak. I’m a journalism graduate—got a master’s degree in it.

Everything I learned in J-school no longer applies in the real world of journalism. News IS fake. For many reasons, I’m glad I became an advertising copywriter rather than a partisan faker. There’s more truth and honor in selling someone what they want rather than what YOU think they need.

The ubiquitous “What you need to know” spills their beans. The Washington Post tagline, Democracy Dies in Darkness, makes them look silly and sick with irony.

They think we’re fools. Telling us what they think we need to know is baby-steps propaganda. Telling us what we need to know about the election has become a media mantra. “No evidence of widespread voter fraud” is wordplay and full-on gaslighting. It’s also a straw man argument no one’s making.

They use “widespread” like we copywriters use “virtually” when pushing a product claim AND covering our clients’ butts. The Geronimo’s gerbil-driven drivetrain is virtually maintenance-free.

Here’s the catch: No evidence of widespread voter fraud doesn’t mean there’s no evidence of voter fraud. Widespread? No. Strategic swing-state fraud? Likely.

Voter fraud has happened in every single American election. Don’t buy it? Take a gander at this state-by-state list of convictions from The Heritage Foundation. Before you do, here’s a one-word and massive difference between the 2020 election and all the others—pandemic. The moment blue-state governors and their party began talking COVID and the election is the moment I began to fear for its integrity and our American Fail.

Crisis management

What did Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once say?

You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.

Like an opportunity to bypass state legislatures to unconstitutionally change election rules in swing states in order ensure a victory you’ve convinced yourself will save our democracy? A serious crisis that comes along once a century? A serious crisis blue-state governors took full advantage of to do what they think best in the name of flattening curves and public safety?

Let me be clear. It’s not that I know that one party committed strategic voter fraud in swing states and stole an election. It’s that I don’t know that the election was clean and fair. I have my doubts. I suspect cheating from a party that wants abortion up to and after birth, no form of voter ID, to add illegal immigrants to voter rolls willy-nilly—their voter rolls, and free this, free that, pander, pander, pander. American Fail.

How can we be sure when we’re told to accept record turnout, record votes for Joe Biden, a record low ballot rejection rate for a record number of ballots, nutty statistical anomalies that strangely lined up nicely for one candidate, and a clear and dangerous political weaponization of a pandemic?

I still have hope

Ask yourself this question as you watch tonight’s two historic and pivotal senate run-off election race results—if you even care anymore. For a while, I didn’t, but isn’t America worth any and all our efforts to help ensure we’ll care about future elections and preserving our greatest freedom—our vote?

I think so. It’s why I still hope. 2024 will be here before we know it and chances are there will be no virus, no pandemic, and no opportunity to prevent us from going to the polls. If both parties are serious about election integrity, let’s urge our leaders to take steps to ensure it.

We desperately need voter ID requirements, rules and procedures debated and passed in state legislatures, more stringency regarding mail-in and absentee ballots, and as much in-person voting as is possible. I’m all for states’ rights, but the winner of a presidential election becomes president of our United States. It’s a federal—not a state—office.

We owe it to ourselves and to future Americans to reestablish trust in our elections. If we cannot push our leaders to value principle and patriotism over power, we may as well give up our republic. Ben Franklin wondered if we could keep it. It was a fair question then and is even more so now.

We’re at a crossroads. Fail or fight—it’s our country and our choice.