Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Consequences of Non-Truth

America is facing severe and intransigent problems on a variety of fronts that simply are not being addressed (e.g. trade deficit, health care, income disparity, foreign wars). In July '05 William Greider published a piece in the NY Times entitled "America's Truth Deficit." Greider's piece begins as follows:

"DURING the cold war, as the Soviet economic system slowly unraveled, internal reform was impossible because highly placed officials who recognized the systemic disorders could not talk about them honestly. The United States is now in an equivalent predicament. Its weakening position in the global trading system is obvious and ominous, yet leaders in politics, business, finance and the news media are not willing to discuss candidly what is happening and why. Instead, they recycle the usual bromides about the benefits of free trade and assurances that everything will work out for the best."
The refusal to deal with the real issues extends not only to global trade, but to every issue we face; health care, war, etc. Nothing has changed since he wrote those words except that the decay has progressed, the intransigence has become even more deeply entrenched, and the foundations of our system have been weakened even further.

We have no problems that we are not fully capable of solving, and in short order, but it is not possible to solve a problem if you refuse to acknowledge that you have one. This is the first step in AA and the first step that we need to embrace before we can address our problems in a meaningful way. The primary problem we have that underlies all the others is our truth deficit. When non-truth (spin) becomes the verbal currency of the realm then there is no possibility of bringing the light of reality to any issue or solution to any problem.

If we want to contribute to the solutions of our problems, the re-vitalization of America, and to a peaceful and equitable world, we can first and foremost demand truth from our leaders and from the press. We can refuse to accept the spin that comes to us daily from Washington and is carried uncritically by the media...and we can turn a deaf ear to the partisan rant brigades who constantly make dishonest appeals to base emotion, encouraging anger, mistrust, hatred, vengeance and violence. These things are the fruit of non-truth and they do not serve us.

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