Who Decides?

There are four sides to every story—yours, mine, theirs, the truth that lies somewhere between.

Threats to democracy fill todays print, broadcast, and cyber worlds. “The survival of a democracy depends on the ability of large numbers of people to make realistic choices in the light of adequate information.” (Aldous Huxley, ‘Brave New World Revisited,’1958)  I ask, “Who decides what adequate information is?”

Political and Covid discussion over the past decade have focused on speech censorship via collusion between the federal government and private industry. “If the government wishes some fact to remain unknown, almost all major organs of publicity will assist in concealment.” (Bertrand Russell, ‘A Matter of Life,’ 1963)  I ask, “Who decides what is to be concealed?”

The concealment of adequate information from the people significantly impacts not only choices regarding who is elected President or to Congress, but whether to wear a mask, obtain an inoculation, shut down a business, limit attendance at church, close or keep children home from school. “A properly informed public with adequate information is an important part of America’s stability.” (Tom Williams, ‘President You,’ 2019)  I ask, “Who decides what constitutes a properly informed public?”

Cannot activists, campaign ads, governments, media, news, podcasters, politicians, political surrogates, press, protestors, pundits, social media influencers, and talk show hosts chant, present, state, report the facts, and let people reason the truth? “…without fairness and balance journalism may become indistinguishable from vigilantism.” (Don Kowet, ‘A Matter of Honor: General William C. Westmorland Versus CBS,’ 1984)

“Partial truths are divisive; comments out of context, destructive. Carefully chosen words that obfuscate facts are lying. The selective elimination of pertinent details a willful misrepresentation. These are sins of omission.” (Tom Williams, ‘President You,’ 2019)

Who Decides the Truth? You? Me? They? Or is it somewhere between?

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