It’s time to stop the nonsense.
The forces of disinformation and disgruntlement have redoubled their efforts of late, finding traction in the poll numbers that show much of the electorate is disappointed with President Barack Obama.
But the disinformation and outright lies are having an impact on those poll numbers because obfuscation is much easier to pull off than simply telling the truth. And too often, in this era of “information” dissemination rather than actual factual reporting, the lie, when told long enough and often enough, becomes the truth, and the truth becomes an inconvenience.
No, President Obama is not a Muslim, even though 20 percent of those asked in a recent poll think he is. Some of those were the same people who criticized Obama’s Christian minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, during the campaign. They didn’t like his brand of Christianity, and now they don’t think he is a Christian at all. Still, it is unsettling to see the President of the United States having to actually tell the news media that he is not a Muslim.
That points out the difficulty of confronting the lies. When backed into a comer with the truth, these prevaricators will simply invent another lie, even if it is completely counter to their first lie.
Some of these people (some of them avid tea drinkers), complained that health care reform, one of the crowning achievements for this (or any) president’s tenure, would create government “death squads” that would determine who would live or die. Nothing is further from the truth, but don’t let a few facts water down the tea. Yet some of these same people were willing to swallow George Bush’s “weapons of mass destruction” lie, which so far has cost the lives of more than 5,500 Americans.
But unchallenged lies allow the lies to fester and grow, especially with the Internet providing fertile breeding ground. The key is that those who know the truth, those who embrace the truth, those who seek the truth must also be about the business of telling the truth, and repeating the truth, so that the lies cannot rule the day. That means contesting those orange pekoe and Earl Grey sippers when they prattle on about taking the country back, but then can’t identify exactly what they want to return to. It means saying, “no, that’s not right,” when some misguided “activist” says that the Obama Administration drove the economy into a ditch. It was the Bush Administration that drove the economy into a ditch, but no one was watching. Now they take notice when Obama is at the wheel, trying to get the economy out of the ditch.
While some seem apathetic to the continued dismissal of the truth as an inconvenience, we must continue to seek it and support it and help the truth spread. The alternative would be to allow lies everywhere to become the bottom line. The next lie will say that there are more Blacks on welfare than Whites (wrong), or that Black male students simply can’t learn (wrong) or that affirmative action is the reason why White men are angry (whew, that’s really wrong).
It is not a matter of defending Obama, because he can defend himself, even when some of the allegations are just ridiculous. What we are talking about is defending the truth.
(Reprinted from the Chicago Defender.)