Posts Tagged ‘standards’


The ideals of truth and beauty are really only operational definitions.  Icon of beauty Marilyn Monroe would probably be considered fat today.

And, so long as we all agree to it, the truth is whatever we say it is, even if it’s not the least bit true.  We all agreed for a time that the world was flat.  So, even though it was wrong, it was still the truth, until it wasn’t anymore.

But starting with President Reagan and his set around 1980, our relationship to the truth has gone from operational to full flight from reality.  Now, the truth seems to be whatever we want to hear.  “We can cut our taxes and still afford the same quality of life,” and “I did not have sex with that woman” have led us not just down a slippery slope but over the precipice.

Today, apparently one can just make up and say anything in the service of victory.  Universal healthcare means death panels.  The President was born in Kenya.  The Chinese are drilling for oil off the coast of Cuba.  Weapons of Mass Destruction, Swift boats, McCain is a traitor, the oil companies are looking out for us, you’re holding your I-Phone wrong, the President caused the oil slick to get his energy bill passed.  The truth has become situational and is no longer fact based.

I think the problem is that there are no consequences.

So, let’s make some Truth laws.  How about if you buy an ad that is not just in error, but tells an unsubstantiated truth, you must purchase twice as many ads reporting the actual truth.  If your news organization reports unsubstantiated truth, you must devote twice as much time to reporting the corrected facts in your highest rated/read time/space.  And if politicians lie about their opposition or their own records during a campaign, then they must forfeit the race.  I know, I know, almost no offices would get filled that way.

Maybe we should all just start making up whatever works for us.

Paying unemployment benefits is an excellent way to stimulate the economy.  Moving gay couples into your neighborhood raises property values.  President Reagan proposed the largest peacetime tax increase in history. Openly gay people in the military have no effect on unit cohesion or morale.  Government deficit spending ended the Great Depression.

Oh wait, that’s all true.  I’ll try harder next time.

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