Viewpoint: American liberty comes down to facts, integrity
“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance; (because) the power is ever stealing from the many to the few,” stated American abolitionist Wendell Phillips.
His words remind us that it’s not just the borders we have to watch as much as those on the inside that are poisoning our democracy, one ignominious piece at a time. Unfortunately, 171 years later little has changed.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar accurately describes this poisoning. The first step in stealing our liberty is to rile people into a state of fear and righteous indignation, so their outrage strangles their capacity to reason.
Tell people the 2020 election was stolen, and some believe it, deny elections work, then send money. Tell them foreigners are flooding across the borders with fentanyl to poison our children with drugs, poison white blood with sex, and they will believe, build a wall, and send money. Tell them some books are turning their kids homosexual, they will believe it, they ban books, and then send money. Tell them COVID is the flu, people die, but they still send money.
This reminds me of the Pogo quote, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
That’s how power is stealing from the many to the few. But the price is the slow erosion of democracy and our liberty. If one considers American politics a war game, then truth is irrelevant. Winning is all that matters. Democracy, liberty, honesty, integrity, we’ll worry about that later after the “good guys” win. Unfortunately, history has taught us that’s rarely the result.
One wonders why so many people can be convinced of something that isn’t true despite having the fastest, most sophisticated communications systems ever? One reason is because we have the most sophisticated communications systems ever. People are quicker to react, which motivates many to distribute false information.
The deluge of fake posts on social media concerning the Israel-Hamas war is a case in point. 78% of Americans think the US is doing the right amount or should do more to support Israel, but only 41% approve of Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict. How can you approve of what the country is doing, but disapprove of the person doing it? Right-wing Messaging.
The effectiveness of MAGA Republicans complaining about Biden’s age, the border, or the economy has created a virus in the brains of many Americans. The Biden Administration has been productive as president. He has passed infrastructure laws, protected people from exploitation by ‘Big Pharma’ while boosting job growth. The facts are there, but to many, facts are irrelevant.
Fox ‘News’ and social media have indoctrinated millions of Americans. ‘Eternal vigilance’ means Americans need to form their opinions based on facts. It’s the price of liberty.