Essay: On the Topic of Truth in America
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Arne Tiseliusa, Swedish biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1948, once said “We live in a world where unfortunately the distinction between true and false appears to become increasingly blurred by manipulation of facts, by exploitation of uncritical minds, and by the pollution of the language.”
Although these words were spoken decades ago, their meaning rings true today in our current era of information warfare and social media manipulation. While the best and brightest among us hopefully play no role in the purposeful spread of false, distorted and malicious information, there is little doubt that there are those who work tirelessly to confuse vulnerable members of the public and to create a sense of panic, chaos and distrust of fellow citizens.
George Orwell, the great English novelist, once said: “The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.”
And if he were alive today, witnessing the distortion of language and meaning within our current social framework, he most certainly would be horrified at what he saw.
You see, Orwell wrote often about language in politics and oppressive ideology. A true man of his time, Orwell knew the very real and present danger posed from totalitarian institutions, totalitarianism of thought and the way language can be used against us by those in power, both seen and unseen.
Therefore, this is the best moment to discuss the topic of truth on which many of us do not pay attention to. Not because we do not want the truth but because the truth is too rarely perceived - and all too often manipulated.
Truth is a radical topic.
In fact, many postmodernists among us argue that a universal truth doesn’t exist. But without truth and without facts there is little meaning. There is only more confusion and more vulnerability.
Now, more than ever, and as Americans, we must come together and fight for the truth. Fight for the truth about our great nation. For we are, indeed, a nation of greatness, goodwill and opportunity.
We must fight against the narratives attempting to destroy this country; narratives that plant seeds of doubt in our young people and narratives that pit neighbor against neighbor.
I leave you here today with one last quote by historian and philosopher, Will Durant: “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.”
We know the attempt to destroy us is based on lies by an enemy ironclad on America’s decline.
Only truth and pursuit of truth will thwart these lies and empower the great people of the United States of America.
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