When you group false rumors that serve political purposes with longstanding, plausible reports that bear careful investigation, you stretch the word conspiracy too far.
Yet the choice is not always between violent fracture – as in an earthquake – or oppressive rule by one set of institutions. If we can contemplate a breakup without more violence than we have now, we ought to think on it.
We lived with these obvious drawbacks to union power and monopoly politics for a long time before the pandemic. Many parents hope that teachers’ unions bad press and clear-cut use of the great awokening to serve their own purposes during the past year will permanently weaken that power. Let’s see.
Now police do not use choke holds. Draw your taser instead. Fumble around, because every second counts. Pull the trigger. “Holy shit, I shot him!”
These subjects also help one see connections among public beliefs, private knowledge, and responsible action. Eventually these thoughts may nourish hope, as Easter does.
Progressives insist to this day that Trump operated on behalf of Putin and Russia intelligence, for God knows how far back.
Private cynicism accents the public dishonesty: “Let it happen as you say, Fred: put these people out of work. Teenagers don’t qualify for unemployment anyway, and they don’t have families to support.”
One side hoists the American flag and attacks the Capitol. Another side appears stronger, more insistent, and altogether willing to tar its opponents with charges of racism. “Silence is violence,” they say. Once you feed that dog, you cannot stop feeding it.
If you convince people that government and large tech platforms need to police information in order to guarantee its accuracy, then you have control. Then you can decide what information remains in the public arena, and what information does not. Then you have the anti-democratic ideal of restricted speech.
I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is, when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died when I was Prime Minister than when anyone else was Prime Minister. That is a political statistic. ~ Winston Churchill
The last four and a half years present a master example in a key phenomenon related to truth during political conflict: when swords and knives come out, brains shut down. They must. You just want to survive. To do that, you destroy your opponents, without thought.
I used to think that efforts to restrict free speech in politics were fated to fail in the United States, ending in the same trash bin as socialism, communism, and free love in the Senate washroom. To propose ideas like regulation of speech was part of our free expression. You could criticize these proposals, but you could not object to their existence, or to their publication. You could only explain why they were bad ideas. When government officials propose bad ideas, however, you have to speak up, strongly and immediately.