“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” ~John Adams
By Alden L. Benton
In the 1950’s television police drama Dragnet, when interviewing witnesses the stoic Sergeant Joe Friday tersely advised, “Just the facts ma’am, just the facts.” It is because of this admonition that I call myself a Joe Friday journalist.
I believe, unlike my contemporaries, that facts matter. No one can make a rational, reasoned decision about anything without valid, verifiable facts, aka, the truth. Truth is not a moveable object. Truth is not personal or relative. It is immutable. It simply is what it is.
Since taking office on January 20, President Trump has issued 22 proclamations, executive orders, and presidential memoranda. While his supporters cheer, his opponents are apoplectic. There is, however, a common denominator among Trump’s supporters, opponents, and many in the so-called mainstream media: Ignorance.
John Adams once said, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.” I am not implying anyone is stupid. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge and knowledge is obtainable. Stupid, on the other hand, is the lack of knowledge combined with the inability, or unwillingness, to seek or understand.
In the United States, there is an alarming degree of ignorance and misinformation regarding the founding documents and the operations of government. The roots of this ignorance are myriad, but whatever its source the public needs honest, truthful information to guide its decisions.
The president’s supporters are confused and his enemies are enraged, while the public scratches their collective heads. The real questions that the media outlets either refuse to answer, or choose to obfuscate, are what did the president’s order actually say and on what Constitutional and legal foundation are they based?
I understand that the average person in this country does not have the time or resources to find and read every executive action. We rely on third parties, in most cases media outlets like television, radio, and cable news programming.
This system no longer disperses, “. . . a general knowledge among the people.” Rather, for the bulk of the media outlets on both sides of the political spectrum, the information imparted is often naive and simplistic, or tainted and manipulated by personal or organizational political beliefs to produce agenda-driven propaganda.
The problem is not the lack of facts and truth. The problem is the dearth of moral and ethical standards that compel one to tell the truth in any situation.
These principles come from the shared values of Judeo-Christian principles. Christianity and Judaism teach us principles for living life and respecting others. These principles are broader, and extend beyond the theological canons of organized religions. Without these principles, our society will not function as our legal system supports the idea that the law is the minimum acceptable level of ethical and moral behavior.
The abyss of moral and ethical relativism in which we are suffering, is a result of more than a century of tacit acquiescence to the anti-principles of the secular progressives, individuals collectively bent on demonizing and marginalizing anyone of principle who dares to adhere to Judeo-Christian principles.
Many of my fellow citizens are ignorant of government, its structure, and operation. As an individual, I cannot solve the underlying causes of that ignorance. However, through this blog and the power of the internet, I can bring knowledge by presenting the facts in clear and concise language without bias or undisclosed agenda.
To fulfill this self-imposed mandate, I will attempt to analyze executive actions, and as many other issues as I can, in order to raise the level of understanding of those who read this blog. After all, knowledge is power.
“Give light and the people will find their own way.” ~Scripps Newspapers motto
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