Not a day goes by in which I don’t get bulk emails and text messages from someone passing on information they know isn’t completely accurate but send it anyway hoping it will shock people into action. That’s not fair to anyone. As co-laborers in the fight for liberty, we owe it to each other to honestly share real facts in proper context.
Rather than wake people up, embellished stories too often have the effect of pushing people into a deeper sleep.
In my experience, most people working around politics rarely tell outright lies. Instead, we find a different kind of deceit: taking some facts out of context, while ignoring others. Sometimes it is done to make a particular politician look bad, other times to make one look good.
The daily assault of half-truths and missing context is in many ways more common, harder to catch, and possibly even more damaging than complete fabrications to the effectiveness of unsuspecting recipients.
Skipping over an inconvenient fact or two might help shape a particular narrative, but it doesn’t serve our friends and allies well.
I’m reminded of the story of Abraham and Sarah found in Genesis 20. This is when Abraham, trying to protect his own backside, introduced Sarah as his sister to the king of Gerar. Rather than trust God to protect the two of them, Abraham decided to bend the truth. While she was a relative on his father’s side, he chose to hide that they were, in fact, married.
The king had Sarah brought to him and was planning on taking her for his wife. Fortunately, the king’s plan was derailed by God, who appeared to the man in a dream and revealed the deception.
I’ve heard every excuse imaginable over the years for this behavior.
Whether it is the publicity-seeking politician who jumps from parade to parade, losing track of which policy proposals he previously championed, or a volunteer who decides not to mention key facts about their political hero’s record when asked. Conveniently ignoring inconvenient facts fails to serve our fellow citizens.
So often it comes down to power — getting it or keeping it. In the rush to hold or be close to someone with power, or deny power to someone else, facts and context get trampled.
We must decide who we serve. We must decide if we value power over principles. Too many people are too insecure in their principles, fearing that a discussion of facts will topple the house of cards upon which their power is built.
As a self-governing people, we must acquire a principled taste for reality – and a willingness to share it with our friends and allies.
By confining ourselves to working with all the facts, convenient or not, we increase our effectiveness in the fight for the preservation of our republic.