In the past, this blogger has posted images of fireworks – usually those in NYC together with a breezy note, if that.
This year, for me and for many fellow Americans, this year’s holiday has us thinking in other directions. There are and will be plenty of fireworks, but this year, along with literal pyrotechnics, we’ve got verbal fireworks -metaphorical fireworks, and they’re not beautiful.
I re-read the Declaration of Independence today. I think many Americans know the preamble, or the gist of it
Many sentences struck me about this document that I’d never given that much thought to before. But there’s one I want to point out: in declaring independence from England and the tyranny of King George, the authors knew that the best way to make the case for the legitimacy and necessity of their actions was this:
To prove this [tyranny], let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Today, on this July fourth, I’m thinking about how Facts ( capitalized in the original) don’t mean much any more to some segments of our citizenry. They are not a candid world. Truth doesn’t matter. Lies are okay. Our president and his appointees, party members and supporters don’t care to make rational, persuasive cases about policy and position based on facts or based on truth.
It’s a frustratingly uphill battle for the free press and millions of Americans to fight the war being waged on facts. We ought to go back to the Declaration of Independence, not only to remind us of the principles for which it stands, but also, for the weapons used by the framers to make their case. We have to protect Facts. We have to fight for Truth. We have to defeat Lies.