Thursday, January 24, 2008

Do we even care about truth?

As I inexplicably watch the post-Republican debate discussion on MSNBC as if it were a cheesy '80's movie, I think back to a line I heard today on talk radio. A noted talk radio hostess asked, when discussing the Iraq war, "Do we even care about truth?" The question has circled my mind all day. I began to think about the people I know: friends, family, colleagues. I wondered if they think about this stuff as much as I do or if, when confronted with news of more lies by the White House administration, do they even get curious?
Do they feel anything at all?


What is accepted as fact today is that we illegally invaded and currently occupy the former sovereign nation of Iraq, that this country did not have weapons of mass destruction nor was involved in 9/11, that Iraq did not pose an imminent threat to the United States, and that Iraq was not a sponsor of al-Qaeda. How is it then that few, if any, even give this a second thought?

I often wonder if the age of technology has disengaged the part of the brain that is responsible for the concern for truth. I have often been involved in conversations with friends or family members regarding the Iraq war. I have listed FACTS in bullet-point fashion, with numbers, statistics and data. They simply nod, agree that it's troubling but then shrug it off with a, "Well...whadda ya gonna do? You wanna get a coffee?"(as they send another text message...)

I don't ever remember my parents being terribly concerned with these type of issues, either. My formative years were during the mid '80's when Reagan was president. If you lived in a nice, safe neighborhood with lots of other white people, as I did, life was grand.

I do remember my grandfather though, who when in front of the television would briefly catch something of breaking news or bits of the State of the Union speech, he would listen and watch attentively and then mumble something under his breath. I recall seeing his face many times either with a look of disgust and a shake of his head or with a look of hope followed by a inconspicuous smile.

This period in our history is one in which I would have enthusiastically discussed these matters with my late grandfather. Would he care to know what I have learned regarding this debacle in Iraq? Would he be interested to know how many people have profitted financially from this war? Would he be outraged to see that ExxonMobil has reported the all-time greatest profit recorded by any company since the beginning of time? That President Bush only last week asked Saudi Arabia to increase oil production because, "our citizens are having a bit of a hard time..."? Did my grandfather understand what "war" really entails? Would he be against this war?

When I refer to truth, I am referring to it in the most natural sense: what is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence. Often Republicans like to debate intuition, speculation or "truthiness"(things that a person claims to know intuitively or "from the gut" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts).

George Piro, the FBI agent who was responsible for interrogating Saddam Hussein, will appear on "60 Minutes". Piro learned during his many conversations with Saddam that the Iraqi dictator did not think the U.S. would seriously attack or invade Iraq. Saddam admitted to Piro that he DID NOT HAVE ANY WMD but refused to admit that to the world because he was fearful that Iran would seize an opportunity to invade Iraq. Wow...talk about not having a way out! The U.S. was going to invade Iraq whether they had WMD or not and Iran would attack if the U.S. didn't. And with us being the world's only superpower, the best we could come up with was to invade, bomb and occupy a country based on "truthiness".


So, my question to anyone reading this is, "Do you care about truth?"

5 comments:

Arclight said...

Hey Bro!

Truth....That is truly a terrifying word for some people. The problem with the truth is, that it hurts sometimes. Over the years society's ability to hear the truth and to act on that truth, has faded like Michael Jackson's skin tone. Society as a whole would rather find someplace or someone to lay blame, than have to ingest the sometimes bitter pill that the truth can be. Nutshell...We are afraid to hear the truth. Do you think that the politicians want to really hear about how we are destroying our planet? I don't think so.

So to answer your question, I as an individual do like to know the truth. Whether that is hard to take at times is of no consequence to me. (reminds me of the old saying "what doesn't kill you, will make you stronger") We need the truth to improve ourselves and not continually make the same mistakes. I hope that at some time in my life we make the turn and start heading back to that.

An employee of mine and myself were having a discussion along these lines the other day. The old woman who sued McDonald's for millions because she burnt herself with hot coffee, here is a perfect example of what I was mentioning above. She did not want to hear the truth. That she was DUMB. Lady, you ordered hot coffee. Did you not believe them?!? Or did you order "luke warm" coffee?!? Instead of accepting the truth, (that she did something stupid) she looked to blame someone else for her stupidity. She sued and got rich, with never having to come to the realization that she was a moron.

Side note: rent and watch the movie "Idiocracy". Draw your comparisons and let me know. LOL!!

The Federalist said...

Will do, I'll add it to my neflix list.

I agree with your claim that people, most often, choose not to hear or see the truth. That's not the first time I've heard that.

I do think that regarding the war there is a unique quality about the refusal to see the truth. I believe it's based on a human principle that we really don't want to admit that we've been duped, for it strikes at our pride and ego.

Call me when you get a chance...CLICK!

An Andrew Pentis Production said...

People's seemingly lack of concern for the truth, I think, is deeply-rooted in facets of society other than solely technology.

A lot of people I talk to, namely family and friends, I pick up a sense that they generally feel so strongly about their lack of democratic power that their will to act and preserve "truth" is weakened. A lot of folks just don't seem to care anymore.

Look, for example, in '08's election: What is going to change? Not much, because change (a female or black president) will still be at the mercy of a tight, do-nothing congress.
The result? Citizens feel a lack of control over their country and lose their will to seek and demand the truth.

PS: sorry to see about FSU's Xavier Lee; I really thought he would one day be a gret college player. Kiper Jr. said he should switch to tight end in his feeble attempt to make the NFL.

The Federalist said...

Andrew,

Great insight. I agree. People are beginning to resign that we can no longer incite change. So many Democrats were elected in 2006 with the hope and expectation that they would put a stop to this dictatorship: illegal wiretapping, torture, mismanaged war and lies with no consequences.

First you have despair and then that turns to apathy. When that happens, you are in a prime position to accept a dictatorial, or worse yet, fascist, type of government.

Regarding my 'Noles...glad to see XLee leave. D'Vontrey Richardson is our future. With Jimbo Fisher now set to take over when our senior citizen retires, we are in very capable hands. Within 2-3 years we are legitimate national title contenders. After that, we are in the hunt each and every year.

concerned citizen said...

great post!

I emphasize with you. it is frustrating to have so many people around that don't seem to care about anything beyond their next Latte.

I do care about the truth & refuse to give up my precious liberties with out protest, so, I have chosen to surround my self with other political & human dignity activist people. Since I am divorced I no longer have to be around anyone I don't chose to. People who stick their head in the sand & ignore the problems around them annoy & frustrate me. A life lived promoting the ideals a person thinks is important is the only life worth living, IMO.