It is time for the collective assault on the truth, particularly in the news--especially by those who demand party loyalty above all else — to end. Without the truth, healing in this country will not occur, unity will not occur, growth will not occur, normalcy will not occur.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines truth as, “The quality or state of being true,” which it defines as, “In accordance with facts or reality.” It defines a fact as, “A thing that is known or proved to be true,” and reality as, “The world or state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.” Both of us have taught students how to identify facts used to support positions taken in research writing, and we feel comfortable in addressing this issue academically.

One of the first lies of the past administration involved the size of the crowd at President Trump’s inauguration, which Press Secretary Sean Spicer insisted was the largest ever, despite obvious evidence to the contrary. The last lie of that administration was denying the win, both in the popular and electoral votes, by Joe Biden (referred to as “The big lie” by traditional media outlets). That lie, repeated by so many Republicans in Congress, led directly to the assault on the U.S. Capitol directed by President Trump himself. Through it all, the majority of Republicans at the federal level supported all the lies through their words, actions, and inactions.

Many of these same Republicans now cry foul at the impeachment (again) of Mr. Trump, calling for unity instead of accountability, even as we continue to discover just how willing Mr. Trump was to use his powers to subvert the will of the people. Lindsey Graham leads the charge by questioning whether the President can be impeached now that he has left office. While this may be viewed by some as the last gasp by sycophants who have lost control of the White House and the U.S. Senate, it should be viewed as it really is, another assault on the truth.

There were others who subverted the truth to allow such an assault. Some media outlets transmitted the administration’s lies rather than reporting facts as journalists are trained to do, while taking aim at their “mainstream” competitors for accurately reporting the news.

Perhaps one of the ironic facets of the “Make America Great Again” movement that would be helpful would be a return to the belief in truth we grew up with. In our childhood, Americans began their days with the local newspaper and then turned to one of the three network news broadcasts each evening. These sources reported the facts and left opinions for the op-ed pages or the Sunday morning shows that brought in pundits to discuss events of the week. Neither the op-ed writers nor the TV pundits ever denied the facts reported by their news bureaus.

Many local newspapers, including this one, have adapted to the new online media environment while staying true to their role as journalists to report the facts. Network news organizations, while more willing to report on celebrity stories than in the past, still provide the facts of the events that impact our lives. Many online journalism organizations accurately deliver news coverage with the click of a mouse.

So the truth still exists, but it is up to us to glean it from the morass of “alternative facts,” especially those promoted through social media. While teaching, we encouraged our students to vet their sources so that their positions were credible. We also required evidence to be presented either in its original form, or to be verified through peer review. We must all practice such standards, particularly when we participate in social media. Before reposting or retweeting, look for the origin of the post. Make sure our news comes from sources that do their own reporting (primary sources) rather than those that simply provide opinions, particularly with a political bias.

We must also hold our political leaders accountable. The U.S. Senate has received the article of impeachment for Donald Trump, and Senators on both sides of the aisle will have an opportunity to show the American people they can address the truth of the attack against the Legislative Branch of our government. Should these Senators choose to ignore the truth, it is up to the electorate in their states to communicate their deep disappointment now and to vote them out during the next election. The same goes for those whose actions before and after the attack, such as Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, who have been remanded to the Senate Ethics Committee.

The attack on Jan. 6 should be viewed as the inevitable outcome of a large part of our population refusing to accept the truth and aided by many people unwilling to stand up for the truth.

In order for us to unite and address the many crises facing us, we must be willing to identify and respect the truth, and then act accordingly.

(8) comments

FreeLunch

"In order for us to unite and address the many crises facing us, we must be willing to identify and respect the truth, and then act accordingly." The authors forgot to mention the media coverup of the Clintons, Biden family criminal cartel, four years of criminal activity by the CIA and FBI undermining Trump, etc., etc.

Hollowed Ground

The last sentence in the third paragraph should be present tense, not past tense. And note that while Little Lickspittle Lindsey (L3) questions whether it is constitutional to impeach a president after he has left office, it is purely academic in this case. Both impeachments of Mr. Trump occurred while he was in office. Which I hope will never happen again. In any office.

Hollowed Ground

Truth is easy to find. But you have to ask yourself, how many out there believe whatever pops into their in box in all of its various forms? Like, every Fakebook and Twittertwatter user knows they themselves can post any outrageous information they can think of. So knowing that, what is their basis for believing anything they see posted by someone else?

MWS

Have you ever wondered what a Biden America would be like and what his version of truth will be? We are finding out. California has already implemented his policies and the results are: 1. CA paid out 10 BILLION in fake unemployment claims to gangsters and con artists in 2020. An illustration of their ability to run the country. 2. Has the highest income and gas taxes in the U.S. 3. Has the highest sales taxes in the U.S. 4. Has the 3rd highest unemployment rate in the U.S. 5. Has the 5th highest paid teachers in the U.S. but ranks 46th in math & 49th in reading, 6. Has the lowest credit/bond ratings in the U.S. (even lower than IL). 7. 59% of all school children in the state qualify for free poverty school lunches. 8. LA is ranked #1 in the nation for gangs. 9. CA is ranked #1 in risk to drivers with 2 in 10 drivers having no license. 10. Has 3 of the most violent cities in the U.S. 11. Leads the nation in law suits. 12. spends 25 BILLION each year on free benefits for illegal immigrants (free housing, K-12 schooling, English supplementation courses, college, healthcare). 13. Ranks 50th in number of hospital ER facilities. 14. Ranks #1 in homelessness. 15. Restricts the amount of soda a child can drink. 16. Restricts church attendance. 17. Outlawed straws. 18. Has rolling blackouts 19. Blames incompetent forest management on global warming. 20. Restricts Thanksgiving dinner. 21 Allows people to defecate and urinate on public streets. 22. Protects criminal alien felons in sanctuary cities allowing them to murder and rape honest citizens. 23. Empties prisons & jails to reoffend honest citizens and infect them with Covid 19. 24. Allows massive sewage waste to flow into the ocean from Tijuana, LA & SF leading to regular beach closures 25. Forces parents to vaccine their children. 26. The entire state is run by democrats. 27. Thinks Moon Beam and Gavin and Biden are excellent politicians. 28. California passed a law, Senate Bill 145, that “gives judges a say on whether to list someone as a sex offender for having oral or anal sex with a minor.” In other words, making it legal for a 24-year-old man to have sex with a 14-year-old child, even if it involved sodomy. 29. CA has the highest rate of unemployment benefits fraud (18%). The benefits are so easy to fraud that people travel from out of state to get on their benefit programs. 30. CA has some of the most fiscally mismanaged cities & counties in the U.S. Oakland for example, has a $89M shortfall for 2021 and is slashing the budgets of the fire department & other programs. 31. The state just passed a new law making it easier to hire felons in firefighter positions. 32. In San Diego a new law established a 9-member committee to study “reparations.” 33. A new state law allows “tax credits” for undocumented works. 34. The state has closed their youth prisons, now requiring the counties to handle violent criminals under 18 using jail or probation. 35. In the middle of a pandemic, state recession & population exodus, CA has raised it’s minimum wage. San Mateo county for example increased it to $15.62 per hour. This will be a massive job killer. 36. In 2020 60% of work for moving companies in CA were OUTBOUND. I’m stunned. 37. CA has almost 200 BILLION in unfunded retirement benefits it cannot pay retired state workers. They allowed many professions (police, fire fighters, politicians, etc.) to retire at full benefits after only 20 years of service. Now they can’t pay them. 38. The CA school system has now included “woke” in their curriculum. The major ones are “ethnic” studies against capitalism, anti-whiteness, social justice methods, toxic masculinity, 1619, heteronormativity & they embrace non-science based homosexuality and transgenderism. 39. The Insurance Commissioner has declared breast removal surgery for young girls who think they are boys as reconstructive, not cosmetic surgery & is covered by the state health insurance. 40. CA just passed a law that taxes corporations 2.4B annually for the homeless. 41. They voted to phase out gas, diesel & natural gas vehicles by 2027. This will destroy their economy and hyperventilate relocations out of CA. THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE? 42. CA paid out 10 BILLION in fake unemployment claims to gangsters and con artists in 2020. 10% of all paid benefits were fraud. An illustration of their ability to run the country. 43. CA paid out 19M to send their national guard to DC for nothing & had them sleep in parking garages. FUTURE BIDEN PROGRAMS? He will cancel the AK pipeline & stop construction on the Wall eliminating over 50K jobs on day one. Biden plans to rescind the travel ban on several Muslim countries (allowing terror cells to more easily be established in the U.S.), rejoin the Paris climate accord (it will cost the taxpayers billions for nothing), initiate a 2 Trillion stimulus plan (most of which will not go to hurting Americans), rejoin the WHO at a cost of 400M annually & send a sweeping immigration bill to Congress to provide citizenship to over 11M illegals living in the us (including felons, criminals & gangsters).

sarelon

Your comment is disingenuous at best. Nearly everything you have mentioned happened during the Trump administration. The cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline didn't put 11,000 people on the unemployment line like many conservative media headlines proclaimed because less than 1,000 had ever been hired for the job. It was still tied up in courts. Please, do some research from RELIABLE sources and park your "party over politics" in a corner to cool down.

cropduster1

What MWS said may or did happen during the Trump Admin. However I believe the intent of MWS comments was that everything he/she mentioned is something Biden or Liberals will do or would like to do. Thus making the US look like like California.

Hollowed Ground

Well, we now know you certainly can't think, but you can sure copy and paste. Next lesson: How to drag with the mouse without thinking.

cropduster1

You're a fine one to talk.

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