Resistance to Tyranny Begins With the Truth
Resistance to Tyranny Begins With the Truth by Bob Bauman – Banyan Hill
Michael Gerson, writing in The Washington Post, recalls that 30 years ago, the book by University of Chicago professor Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, begins with these words: “There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: Almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.”
Truth is not relative. By its very nature, truth is absolute.
The ability to determine truth from falsehood, right from wrong, is essential to our personal well-being and to our country’s civic health.
Thomas Jefferson summarized our national belief that some truths are self-evident: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
But in an age of tweets, fake news and digital subversion, truth is elusive.
Truth and Consequences
President Ronald Reagan always got an appreciative laugh from his audience when he described the best test to discover if a politician is lying: “See if his lips are moving.”
George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, in his horrific vision of a totalitarian society, describes the language of political demagogues who demand that every citizen accept that 2+2=5 and that “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.”
Orwell rightfully observed: “Political language … is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
Dictionary.com defines a lie as “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.”
But how can we know the truth?
Psychology suggests that people perceive and interpret ambiguous or complex issues in the simplest form possible. We prefer things clear and ordered so that they seem safer and take less time to process intellectually.