The truth can be deceiving. If you’d ask the guy down the street, he might have a few thoughts about me. He might say that:
- I’m a curmudgeon and cheapskate for not buying more Girl Scout cookies from his daughter when they came to our house.
- I’m a lousy driver and drive too fast up the street.
- I’m a grinch for waiting so long to put up my Christmas lights.
Those are some strong words. He would be wrong, but he has the right to say them. Now of course, if you were to ask my wife, she might say:
- I give freely of my time and money to others and put others first.
- I drive careful on the local street, but like to drive fast on the highway.
- We waited until the weather was warmer to put up the lights.
Putting a spotlight on the truth
I’ve been fascinated by truth and fairness for a long time. As a young teenager, I was especially fascinated learning about Senator Joseph McCarthy’s rapid-fire, willy-nilly allegations in the early 1950s that numerous communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers had infiltrated the United States federal government, universities, film industry, and elsewhere. I was taken back by the story of a young writer who was wrongfully accused by McCarthy and put on a blacklist for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I could relate to the the writer’s plight and the lack of recourse.
McCarthy was a bully. He bullied and prodded and played in false accusations against his enemies for years until CBS Broadcaster Edward R. Murrow pushed back on his show See it Now. Murrow let McCarthy use his own words to place a noose around his neck and later that year, the Senate voted to censure Senator McCarthy by a vote of 67–22, making him one of the few senators ever to be disciplined this way. He continued to speak against communism and socialism until his death three years later, but the venom and power of his probe had diminished.
Taking a page from the fifties
I bring up McCarthy, because the controversies we see and hear now seem to have a lot in common with that time. Politicians today twist and turn the truth, hiding truth from fact. They’re the worst kind of politician, mainly because they deal in half-truths and falsehoods.
For example, three weeks ago Republicans in my state were questioning the truth and veracity of mail-in voting, something they supported and helped legalize in 2019. Up until a few weeks ago, they were still complaining about mail-in voting. But with Election Day now long passed and reality setting in, I’ve read several stories where Republicans are now changing their tune, looking to improve their chances.
“Republicans focus on Election Day turnout and Democrats started a month ahead of time,” said former Rep. Lou Barletta told Politico. “If we want to win, if Republicans want to win, they got to get better at” mail voting.
I don’t begrudge Barletta. He’s right, but I find the quick change of mind to be less than appealing. One minute mail-in voting is wretched and cheating, the next minute you have no problems with it. That doesn’t feel right.
The lies are less about improving American lives and instead are all about how they can support and help themselves. For too many people nowadays, it’s party over country instead of the other way around. And in turn, truth has been thrown to the wayside, We need to get back to truth and substance over the falsehoods and lies.
While trouble faces us from all sides, I talk solace that for every cloudy, rainy day, the sun comes up and a new day dawns. A new day is coming.