Image: Your Little Planet
It seems this Administration has a problem with facts, and the truth. Simply the truth is what will set us all free to become all we can become and continue building this country and world. Yet, as of June 1st the Washington Post has counted 3,251 misleading or false statements by our POTUS. As the leader of the Executive branch he sets the lead for his staff, they feel comfortable making misleading statements and creating ‘alternate facts’. There are not ‘alternate facts’ when it comes to what is actually happening in our government.
The news media is the Fourth Estate, with special protections inscribed in the First Amendment of the Constitution declaring ‘Congress…shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press’. We need the press to monitor government officials and ensure they are doing what they say they are doing and telling us the truth. Without knowing how our public officials are discharging their responsibilities to serve the public’s interests and build the common good we cannot make decisions on the correctness of their behavior or who to vote for or against. Madison and Jefferson were distrustful of a powerful federal government that was not under constant surveillance by the press, to ensure a faction or tyrant could not confuse the public and run wild over the people with their power.
The most alarming aspect of this Administration is not that it lies about policy and actions, it is that it lies constantly and changes the focus to undermining the press to new levels of bullying, intimidation and threats. This barrage of constantly calling the mainstream press ‘false news and enemies of the people’, is to delegitimize the press to give the Administration the policy room to do whatever it wants. A guest on the PBS News Hour this past week, Peter Wehner, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, succulently described this unprecedented dishonesty as ‘pathological lying’ – a disease. A disease that is eating away at the foundations of our democracy.
Every major religion on this planet places a high value on honesty, truthfulness and integrity. The truth is not a new concept – except for this Administration. Madison had great faith that when a well-educated and informed public made decisions they would be able to make the right decisions in the interest of the common good. Let’s rededicate ourselves in all our interactions with each other, our families and in our democratic institutions to be honest, truthful and transparent. Only with consensus around the facts can we move together and solve the problems ahead for our children and future generations.