Consequences of untruth

Five years ago, a man who faced no consequences while being reared, faced no consequences for business failures, his domestic failures, his admitted sexual misbehavior, and, especially, his many malicious public lies…. this man decided to run for the highest office in our nation. He won, despite his well-known flaws, failures, and dishonesty.

He won, it seems to me, because in our nation’s public discourse, we have not learned how to discern between objective journalism and politically sponsored propaganda. This storm of propaganda is paid for by both domestic conservatives with economic and societal policy interests, alongside foreign nations who have geopolitical aims. The former style themselves as patriots, the latter deny their actions. Either way, the information they inject into the flow around us is not objective. It is purpose designed to achieve goals apart from the nation’s best interests.

That we have permitted this to be without fact-checking in real time has warped our lives, and our nation. It’s led to the election of the worst president this nation has seen, and a flagrant attempt to destroy the democracy introduced to the world almost 250 years ago. There’s a direct line between this president, the Republican congressmen, their spokesmen, lawyers, and press secretaries lying to the masses about the outcome of the election, and the death and destruction in Washington last week.

What should be the consequences of those lies? For this monstrous failed president? For the house and senate members and paid pols echoing the falsehood that the election was somehow rigged? What should be done about the “talking heads” who now propound new lies about the assault on Congress, falsely reporting mysterious “others” were the “real” culprits; plainly propaganda. How do we permit this?

Free speech, the old saying goes, does not permit capriciously shouting “FIRE!” in a crowded theater. There are stiff penalties for that wrong-doing.

So…

This failed president must face impeachment, even if conviction occurs after he’s evicted from office. His attempt to undo a national election absolutely requires it. He deserves no pension, no travel allowance, no Secret Service detail as a past president. He must be barred from holding any future office.

Senators Hawley and Cruz should face removal from office, or censure at the least.

Rudy Giuliani and other lawyers in service of the disinformation campaign should be disbarred.

And we clearly need legislative checks on propaganda presented as news. Perhaps a separation of objective reporting outlets from opinion outlets, so that outrageous opinions won’t fly under the cover of a “news banner”.

Mom and Dad never used the word ‘consequences’ while raising my sibs and me, but it made no difference. My upbringing had consequences aplenty to steer my course to adulthood. When it became the fashionable parenting buzz-word at the turn of this century, we were teaching consequences to our daughters daily. They turned out just fine.

Now it is our nation that needs to be the tough parent, to mete out consequences for the lies that wrought last week’s havoc.

4 thoughts on “Consequences of untruth”

  1. Just read this post from early 2021. I discovered swift passage as I was looking through some old links. Glad to hear you are still enjoying life. I don’t think you will ever not enjoy life. Did you sell the airplane? Yes I really enjoyed the big old house down there. However I found as I grew up to what is now 78. years, I was happy to downsize to a 2 BR apartment which I share with Samuel, my son. We made it through the pandemic, (I think) however we now have Omicron. I am done with masking and getting a third booster, when no one really knows if a 3rd booster works at all on Omicron. My health is fair, I had a pacemaker put in two years ago when my pulse decreased to 40 and did not increase when I exercised. My oldest and youngest sons are in school and working. Oldest is a theoretical physicist, and spent some time in Geneva, Switzerland at CERN. Youngest got a degree in C.S.E.E. and worked for Amazon in the robotics department and now works at a startup (Plenty) designing an automation system to grow greens indoors by rehabbing old warehouses (first one in San Francisco, next one in Los Angeles.). Oldest just married, living in La Jolla, CA at UCSD. Hard to believe it is over 10 years for me at Ft. Stewart. Keep in touch

    1. It’s good to trade notes today, Gary. I’m glad you are still savoring life, and have sons that make you proud. Yes, I’ve sold the plane, and, too, the house in Georgia. Ann and I have been safe so far from COVID, and have had no significant ill effects from three doses of Moderna. Omicron should be less mysterious epidemiologically over the next 3 to 4 weeks, and will undoubtedly spread worldwide, but I have hope that the knowledge gained thus far will help protect us all, and lessen the suffering.

      It saddens me, and is a constant thorn in my side that people who should know better continue to trade in misleading lies about COVID for imagined partisan gains. It fragments our national unity. It has cost lives needlessly lost. From my perspective, it is absolute evil.

      Before this pandemic, and even before the rise of Trumpism, I was baffled when trying to reason with anti-vaxers and climate change deniers. The passions in these science sceptics, every one of them (I learned by asking them) had been inflamed by rightwing news outlets, or religious affiliations which echoed such from the pulpit. The dissemination of lies which kill people ought not to be tolerated. They may lead to the dissolution of this nation by deepening divides which shouldn’t even exist.

      Wishing you and yours well this holiday season!

  2. The prospect of this wretch being denied a pension, Secret Service protection, and the possibility of holding office in the future is sweet to contemplate.

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