Truth and consequences

Truth or consequences is a phrase ingrained in America’s vocabulary since Ralph Edwards entertained audiences with a popular radio and TV show that ran for more than 30 years. The show was so popular that a town in New Mexico willingly changed its name in an effort to tempt Edwards to broadcast his program from there. Listening to that program, we often heard this statement: “If you can’t tell the truth, you must pay the consequences.”

Today, we who live in America, want, no, need to know the truth.

Has Donald Trump tested positive for Covid-19? If so, how sick is he? What are his prospects for recovery? How long will he be affected by the virus? Why are his physicians treating him with medications usually administered only in the most severe of cases? Why are his physicians not reporting details of his condition fully and honestly to us?

What are the consequences of hiding or altering the truth about such an important matter?

Americans and the others around the world, at this fragile time, need information we can trust as true. We rely on it.

Dictionaries tell us simply that truth is the quality of being true. Trust is confidence in or reliance on some person or quality. The two are firmly linked. If you trust someone, it means you believe that they are being honest and truthful with you. Trust can be breached and challenged, but the truth remains the truth no matter what.

George Orwell wrote that in a time of deceit, truth is a revolutionary act. We are in a time of deceit. There is no doubt of that.

Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, also wrote about this. “People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim,” she wrote.

“What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked … The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on.”

Americans and concerned people around the world are being denied the truth. What are the consequences of this?

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