Politics, Lies and You (EP.325)
Introduction If we all started with the same facts, even if we applied different reasoning and logic, we would be far more unified and together on issues than we are today. And we could make substantial progress together. The catch is that we are being lied to on a regular basis. Most of the media and many politicians and influence leaders either intentionally give us a carefully edited version of the story, or they outright lie to us. We believe the misinformation, and take our positions in line with how we are being (mis)led. Whose fault is that? Ours. As always. We must dig for the truth. It is there for us to find. Revolution 2.0™ is here to help you find it. That is the subject of today’s 10 minute episode. Continuing Today’s Key Point. It is our responsibility to read, listen to and watch multiple sources of information–even the ones that make us upset–daily or at least weekly. There are no consistently reliable sources of the truth; we must distill that for ourselves. Q. Why do political leaders and influence leaders lie? A. To achieve results and fulfill agendas that the truth would not support. Here are a couple examples. President Johnson created a false narrative about the US being attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin to have an excuse to bring America into the civil war in Vietnam. The CEOs of the big tobacco companies lied for years, and in front of Congress, about nicotine not being addictive. All while artificially increasing the amount of nicotine to hook more people at great peril to their health and very lives. Johnson expected glory from winning a popular war; the CEOs wanted money. Q. Why is racism at the heart of or near the center of most of today’s lies? A. Because it works. And unlike a hard statistic, like murders in our inner cities and incidents of armed robbery, it is easy to claim–and denial, even with proof–is somehow seen as evidence that supports the initial accusation. Let’s look at a current, sweeping, overall lie. The President, Joe Biden, has compared the revised Georgia voting laws with the Jim Crow laws. Here are a few examples of the hundreds of hateful Jim Crow laws. “It shall be unlawful for a negro and white person to play together or in company with each other at any game of pool or billiards.” “No person or corporation shall require any white female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms or hospitals, either public or private, where negro men are placed.” “Any instructor who shall teach in any school, college or institution where members of the white and colored races are received and enrolled as pupils for instruction shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be fined.” The list goes on almost endlessly. The term “Jim Crow Laws” is often used, but less often understood. Jim Crow was the name of a minstrel character created in 1828 by Thomas Rice. Rice’s comedy routines and the popular song “Jump, Jim Crow” established the common name for laws that enforced racial prejudice. These laws held sway mainly in the South from the end of the Civil War until the 50s and 60s, with the Supreme Court upholding them in 1896 with the Plessy v Ferguson separate but equal decision. Thanks in large part to the work of NAACP lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, in 1954 the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional–effectively reversing Plessy. President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965, officially abolishing all Jim Crow laws. Now let’s look at the results of the Georgia voting law in light of what Jim Crow really was, testing Biden’s comparison. Ready? Voters can start requesting no-excuse ballots 78 days in advance. Photo ID is required for both in-person and mail voting. If someone does not have an ID, one will be provided for free upon request. Ballot drop boxes will be provided. Locations are limited, but ballot drop boxes are codified in the law for the first time in Georgia. No one is allowed to hand out food or drink within 150 feet of a polling place or within 25 feet of a voter. Voters can bring their own, or poll workers are allowed to provide water. People handing out bottled water with the Democratic logo on them is prohibited. As is handing out generic bottles of water with a wink-wink while saying MAGA. The law also mandates three weeks of early in-person voting and requires early-voting sites to be open for at least eight hours and up to 12 hours. Two things are glaringly obvious. 1. There is absolutely no comparison between these voting laws and Jim Crow; if anything they are opposites, and 2. No one with any real desire at all to vote would be in any way put off, or even more than slightly inconvenienced, by these rules. But let’s remember who made the comparison between these laws and the segregationist, hateful Jim Crow laws. It was the same Joe Biden who in 2012 in a campaign speech said that Mitt Romney, then the Republican Presidential candidate, wanted to, “…put you all (blacks) back in chains,” and in May of 2020 Biden said, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” Do you see a pattern? Calling up images of something as horrible as Jim Crow laws is exactly like calling up images of Hitler and Nazism if you don’t like a particular politician or law. Hitler directly killed 6M Jews, cheated and tortured millions others he did not like, and was the immediate cause for over 25M deaths. And the destruction of most of Europe and much of Russia. In both cases, the wildly inaccurate comparisons cheapen the lives, struggles and deaths of the victims of both Jim Crow and Hitler’s Germany. The United States is the least racist of any multi-racial nation in history. And the incidents of racism continue to fall. No racist laws remain, and racist people and events are on the decline. This very decline drives the need for terms like microaggression, and Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project. The latter two being almost desperate attempts to tell big enough lies often enough that people will believe them. Pause for a clarification: I am not saying that racists and racism have been eliminated, and I am not saying that they ever will be. I am saying that racism is clearly and obviously continuing to decline. And any attempt to overemphasize racism or any other type of crime or evil for personal or political gain is hideous in the extreme. The enduring, quintessential race lie is the “Hands up, don’t shoot,” lie from the Michael Brown case in 2014 in Ferguson, MO. This lie has endured and has intentionally driven racial animus for seven years. LeBron James and others wore t-shirts with that printed on them on national TV before NBA games. More recently, Mr. James tweeted, “You’re next,” in response to a white cop in Ohio fatally shooting a black girl, Ma’Khia Bryant, who was about to take a piece out of another young female with a large knife. She was in the act of charging and striking when she was shot. I am not happy with any level of crime or injustice, whether the basis is race, gender, economic inequality or anything even remotely related. To fix these faults and divisions, as we must, we need to start with cooperative hearts, telling ourselves and each other the truth, and working on fixing the issues at hand. All quite the opposite of spreading lies and innuendo in pursuit of personal and political gain. We’ll close with a quote. “Most of the great evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.” -Bertrand Russell, British writer, social activist, and philosopher. Where do you stand? What are you going to do? Remember, it does not matter where you stand if you don’t do anything. As always, whatever you do, do it in love. Without love, anything we do is empty. 1 Corinthians 16:14 Contact As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the episodes with comments or questions about this episode or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, @willluden, Facebook, facebook.com/will.luden, and LinkedIn, www.linkedin.com/in/willluden/. And you can subscribe on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you listen to podcasts. If you liked today’s episode, other episodes or the revolution2-0.org site itself, visit the store for some fun items, comment, subscribe, and encourage others to subscribe with you. Each One Reach One will help spread the word about Revolution 2.0™. Will Luden, coming to you from 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.