Constraints on the abuse of power are being weakened internationally and nationally. This cannot continue. Those who can must speak out plainly – and truthfully – or be complicit in a world of lies.
David Miliband (July 15, 1965 -)
The other day when starting to write this essay, the original title was Truth, but there was none to be found. It seems to me we have been without any truth for a very long time. Truth only exists now on the pages of philosophy books (truth is the largest central subject of philosophy) and in the eyes of small children. Those self appointed or elected officials who represent the citizens and governments of this planet seem to have adopted the approach to truth used by Hitler’s speech writer and advisor Joseph Goebbels (October 29, 1897 – May 01, 1945) who said:
Make the lie big, keep it simple, keep saying it and eventually they will believe it.
Recently the culture secretary of Brazil, Roberto Alvim, was fired for paraphrasing the words of the Nazi propaganda minister. Any yet, Goebbels philosophy of lies lives on each day in the words and actions of Donald Trump who according to the Fact Checker Column in the Washington Post has told close to 16,000 lies so far during his Presidency.
That’s an average of 14.6 lies for each of his 1,055 days in office. Trump made 1,999 false claims in 2017 and 5,689 in 2018 — a total of 7,688, the newspaper reported. He’s ramped up the untruths in 2019, however, hitting 7,725 falsehoods with three weeks still to go in the year.
The greater problem in addition to his lies is the fact that those who have the responsibility of calling him out are enabling his presidency and Trump’s large ego with their silence.
In his defense, if there is one, Trump is not the first leader of the United States to tell lies and then defend them as the truth.
Remember Richard Nixon:
I am not a crook.
Or Bill Clinton:
I did not have sex with THAT woman!
President George W. Bush signing a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq at the White House on Oct. 16, 2002. New York Times 01/12/2020. Mark Wilson/Getty Images.
And the unkindest cut of all by George W Bush:
Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction and will use them against the United States.
That lie led to two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which the United States is still fighting almost twenty years later and the deaths of hundreds of thousands civilians in addition to thousands of service men and women. But the cut which ended my allegiance to America occurred when Colin Powell stood on the floor of the United Nations and defended that lie to the leaders of the world. He became an enabler of a lie out of loyalty to a liar. The same way Mitch McConnell and others out of blind loyalty have become enablers of a bogus would be dictator for life, Donald Trump.
When looked at through the wide reaching range of a telescope or the precise inner view of the microscope, the truth remains unchanged in that moment of observation. It saddens me that any elected leader would tell his constituents lies, but that they tell so many, unchecked by their cronies out of insane devotion and party worship has killed my belief in democracy.
Perhaps what Obi-Wan Kenobi said in Episode Six of Star Wars – Return of the Jedi is true.
… From a certain point of view you’re going to find many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.
But if Donald Trump is allow to go unchecked with his conspiracy laden, say anything lies, not only democracy in the United Stated is in trouble of collapsing but democracy around the world is on the pathway to destruction.
I have had enough. I am standing up from my chair of comfort and speaking out while I still have a voice and can still speak freely before that freedom and democracy is taken away.