Norman Rockwell's Freedom of Speech 1943
"Half a Truth is Often a Great Lie"
John F. Kennedy once said, “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is afraid of its people.” He understood truth and unrestricted speech are essential to freedom.
We have fallen far from these ideals and the people’s trust in government, political parties, institutions, the media, and each other has been shattered. We are deeply divided, and our greatest division may be between those who seek the truth and those who want to bury it.
The evidence is everywhere.
Donald Trump’s non-conformity and bullish disregard of political norms in Washington made him a target from the start. His election shocked the nation and political enemies rallied to destroy him by any means necessary. He did exactly what he said he would – secured the border, made us energy independent, required NATO allies to pay their bills, insisted on fair trade for American producers, reduced unemployment, reduced taxes and regulation and much more. The vitriol toward him from both sides of the aisle, the media and the “deep state” of government agencies runs deep. The attempts by the Justice Department (DOJ) to make the case he was in collusion with Russia, using known lies, was just the beginning. From impeachment to January 6 to Mar-a-Lago, the goal is to disqualify him from running again. He is feared for the real threat he is to the status quo, which so many will do anything to preserve. Money and power corrupt.
Joe Biden is a serial liar and living proof of the threat posed by career politicians. He has plenty of company on both sides of the aisle. He’s lived a life of wealth and privilege off the taxpayers for 50 years, abused political connection for personal gain, and produced no meaningful outcomes during his tenure. He insists the border is secure while 14,000 people cross illegally every day, the economy is in great shape, and was just stopped in his attempt to force faith-based health systems to deliver transgender services. He’s wreaked havoc on our country using the pandemic as the universal excuse and politicized the CDC to advance his agenda. The CDC recently removed statistics on defensive gun use from its website after being pressured by gun control advocates.
How does a 30-year-old criminal hobnob with politicians and celebrities while he defrauds investors of millions in a cryptocurrency scheme, completely unregulated? The timing of his arrest by the DOJ, preventing him from testifying to Congress, is highly suspect. At the same time, the IRS, with 89,000 new agents Biden promised would go after only the uber-wealthy, has instituted new rules that require reporting $600 in PayPal-type income, reduced from $20,000, trampling on the entrepreneurial efforts of everyday Americans.
The medical community has squandered trust by allowing the politicizing of science. Silencing the essential voices of dissent within the disciplines deprives us of the information we need to make the decisions that are best for us. Practices like masking in health care facilities are still being required with no evidence to support them. The medical community is complicit in the lie we can change gender.
Elon Musk is just getting started in exposing the collusion between Big Tech and government agencies in stifling free speech. Big Tech calls what they are doing “content moderation decisions.” It’s censorship and cannot be tolerated if social media is the contemporary town square.
Universities have failed as safe places to debate all ideas in search of truth and are focused on “microaggressions” and student feelings. In 2001 UW Madison surveyed students on free speech and religious liberty. Alarming numbers believe the government should restrict speech of “climate deniers” or “racially insensitive” people and punish “hate speech.” (https://uwsc.wisc.edu/) In October, students vandalized the Madison campus to protest a conservative commentator being invited to speak.
Last Wednesday, results of a Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau review revealed Tony Evers’ Department of Administration would not provide the information it claimed the government based its decisions on in handing out $3.7 billion in COVID relief over the past two years. The state has received $5.7 billion between March 2020 and June 2022 and only $1.1 billion came with restrictions. The governor thumbs his nose at the people’s right to know.
The dishonesty of the media compounds the negative impact of all the lying. We have few watchdogs of truth.
Trust must be earned and once lost, is hard to regain. Shining a bright light on the truth is a place to start.