To the editor: “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
What Abraham Lincoln said in the time of war is as meaningful today as it was then. Now in the age of Trump the truth is often ignored. If we heard one lie from Trump and his defenders, that lie would be subject to intense scrutiny. But we are overwhelmed with so many lies that facts and evidence are no longer relevant. It is now more than lies; it is propaganda that is used to influence behavior, to appeal to emotions and end rational thought. Propagandists know that if a lie is repeated often enough, people will come to accept it as truth. Is that the reason Trump has so many rallies?
One dangerous lie concerns the “fake news” — “enemy of the people” charges aimed at reputable news organizations. For people to accept the truth they must be willing to examine facts and evidence. It is time to stop condemning the messengers and analyze the message. The next time fake news is used to defend Trump, specific examples of what is fake should be demanded. As Winston Churchill said, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”