Everyone gets to be right these days. Shaping reality to one’s benefit occurs simply by selecting the audience most likely to accept one’s account of the “facts.” That chosen audience then attaches itself to those facts, becoming emotionally and intellectually beholden to them, and then vigorously defends that version of reality from anyone presenting evidence to the contrary.
Doesn’t that sound crazy? It does. But it happens now and has happened for all of history. History; the recorded account of past events, usually told from the perspective of a conflict’s winner. Control of the public by controlling public information is a tradition that runs from kings and churches through today’s media conglomerates and cable news flavors. But the modern technology of wireless constant connectivity leads each member of the public to believe their individual viewpoints possess unassailable power. At the same time, modern Americans have a soft understanding of their right to intellectual and religious freedom. Those two things together lead many to a misguided notion that their personal beliefs hold the same weight and validity as concrete facts.
Beliefs are not facts. Beliefs are formed by attempts at reasoning without complete information. Facts are demonstrable and repeatable. Facts are measured, beliefs are felt. Beliefs should not be the guiding force of public policy. News, which should be an accounting of and a seeking of factual information, should not come in targeted political varieties. We live in a world where information can be almost instantly verified, if we are only vigilant in protecting truth. But we seem to prefer a world where wee are lied to and manipulated, protecting our own fantasies.
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Jake Negovan drives Red Brown and Blue to be an outlet for progressive political opinion that leads to the betterment of life for the real, multicultural population of the U.S. and the rest of the world. His columns address the issues faced by our country as we continue growing toward a society of equality. More about Jake can be found on the web at jakejots.com or on Twitter@jakenegovan.