The disinformation promoted by various political, business, and media liars for their own power- and wealth – seeking motives is an unarguable threat to democratic government, a fact noted numerous times, of late, in various writings, with varying degrees of precision.
Of all of them the quotation below is one of the most concise.
“It is a form of coup, but with a loud nationalist hyperbole disguising the threat to democracy.”
“To hold power, or challenge it, in a democracy, requires continual argument and discussion, the precondition of which is a commitment to truth-telling and a shared acceptance of facts, however differently they may be interpreted.”
“Trash these preconditions and we inevitably slide into a universe of division and distrust, impervious to rational argument.”
“We are all belittled.”
—Will Hutton (an Observer columnist quoted in The Guardian)
During the 2020 campaign, I posted the following, which, now slightly altered, bears re-posting.
Many citizens are distressed by the shabby state of political debate, characterized by lust for political power to be gained by telling unending lies.
The level of pure, unadulterated falsehood is arguably equal to that displayed by any totalitarian state propaganda rag in existence.
How did such blatant disregard for simple truth become such a popular tool for manipulating voters?
Presently I have no explanation to offer, and it’s true that politicians throughout time have never been noted for squeaky clean conduct—the only known rule of politics being that there are no rules.
That having been said, I find the present level of disregard for simple truth to be as extreme as anything I’ve ever seen in a communist party newspaper.
It’s worth considering that polling consistently indicates we are much more tolerant of lies told by our preferred party than we are of lies told by another party.
Such polling results have led operatives of all parties to the same conclusion:
Whoopee! We can get away with this!
“We the people” are therefore partly responsible for this situation, which will improve when we care enough to penalize any and all parties for their part in such shameless bastardization of our political process.
Democracy is much like farming—cultivate carefully or shut up about the weeds!
End note—Last week’s post, Is God a Verb? has been extensively reworked.