Truth-telling is born of truth-seeking. Humans need to be hunter-gatherers for truth. Our curiosity and intellects and hearts seek truth. Truth is what science, when it is true to itself, seeks out: What is the truth of nature? How does nature work? What is going on in the cosmos? What is going on in the world of the beetle? The frog? The tree? The forest? The coronavirus? Etc. etc. Truth is also what artists yearn to share and elicit.
The 30,000 lies that the president of the United States has uttered publicly since becoming president four years ago truly matter. A president by definition has a loud bully pulpit and his thoughts and ideas and utterances will be magnified many times over by the media not only to the 330 million citizens of his nation but to the world at large.
A disinterest in truth will go a long way to seed disunity and confusion and can easily take root in persons whose egos are not stable and whose inner journey is a disturbed one. When the president predicted (quite accurately as it turned out) that he could shoot someone on fifth avenue, that is to say in a public place and in broad daylight, and get away with it he was saying something about himself but also about his followers: They would become so attached to him that they would say nothing. There would be no moral boundaries or values to agree upon—other than to follow the shooter wherever else he led.
This has come to pass. 360,000 Americans are dead now from a virus the president called a “hoax” and “democratic plot” for months, while essentially ignoring the tasks required to prepare for and stop the virus or at least slow it down. Mask-wearing became a no-no because it violated one’s “freedom” or one’s macho self image (very sad and weak self-images indeed).
The Big Lie was that the upcoming election would be fraudulent and that the only way he could lose it would be by theft and trickery. Lose it he did. By 7 million votes. And by an electoral vote count he called a “landslide” when it occurred four years ago in his favor. So he lost by a landslide. But the Big Lie, repeated over and over again before, during and after the election, became the elixir to his followers, they drank it in time and time and time again and committed themselves to it. Even though 80 court trials examined the Lie, dozens of judges of all political backgrounds including some he himself appointed, the Lie was bigger to his followers and counted more than the entire judicial system.
Being a president, his Big Lie was disseminated by his allies in the press. Fox News ran it over and over again, Rush Limbaugh and his many radio clones repeated it over and over. Tell a lie often enough and people with ingest it and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Why should the events of January 6th surprise us?
See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. xxiii-xxxxlii, 321.
Where were you when the Big Lie took place through the media and social media? Is lying compatible with Truth? With a sense of Divinity in our lives?