The Debate the Left Has Forced on Us: Freedom vs. the Truth
We are a democratic republic. Have been since 1789. What should be more important — the freedom to put forward your point of view or someone deciding if that opinion is true or not? That is the crossroads where we find ourselves today. For anyone who claims to be a conservative, this should not be a tough choice. Any way you slice it, freedom beats the truth police every time.
To be sure, it would be great if what we absorbed from the multitude of available platforms — mainstream media, avowed opinionated media, social media, etc. — were able to be determined, in advance, to be truthful and accurate. The problem is as simple as this: as the famous saying goes, truth is often in the eye of the beholder. To allow one set of "beholders" to be the arbiter of what you and I are allowed to see is contrary to every fiber of what has defined our nation from its outset.
It is not as easy as those who would block us from seeing disinformation or misinformation claim. For these information police, it is as though, at every point in time, there are three categories of information — truth, untruth, and lies. It is true that there are such things as facts, items that can actually be measured. However, the conclusions to be drawn from these facts do not neatly divide themselves into those three categories.
For our benevolent betters, the truth is what is factually accurate and correct. They would have us believe, on matters great and small, that ascertaining the truth is not so hard. In addition, people should be protected from information that does not meet their test of accuracy and correctness. Last year, virtually every mainstream media outlet proclaimed the idea that the COVID virus originated from a laboratory in China had been "debunked." The social media giants took pains to take down anyone arguing it might be the case. Now there is a consensus that it is entirely possible this is where the virus started.
An untruth is something that fails to meet the truth police's definition of "factually accurate" and "correct." Under the umbrella of Critical Race Theory (CRT), someone arguing that "I treat everyone the same," intentionally or not, is guilty of not understanding that race defines the relationship, so his opinion is guilty of not being anti-racist. An untruth is not something where one is automatically being accused of deliberately not advancing the truth — just falling short of it.
A lie in this world of being exposed only to things that are true is when someone addresses and attempts to rebut the truth with disinformation and misinformation. If those urging the blocking of disinformation and misinformation had their way, you would have access only to what is deemed truthful and accurate.
What liberals refuse to do is look in the mirror to see what their vision would mean in real life. Last year, Dr. Anthony Fauci and the surgeon general said, at one point, that masks do little good. Under the structure the Biden administration is encouraging, if one of us had posted a view that we believed to be true, such as that face masks seem to be a good idea, that post could be blocked from being seen, since it contradicted the experts and science as we knew it at it that time. Never mind that at a later point in time, Dr. Fauci thought two masks was a good idea. It is fine to argue science changes. It is not acceptable to me to argue that only the science of the moment that liberals embrace is allowed to be seen.
Most frustrating to conservatives is the constant use of circular logic and loud voices to silence, even cancel, our point of view. The latest example is the January 6 Commission. Speaker Pelosi is allowing only Republicans who have already made known that they hold President Trump responsible to participate, and that is only two. Even if one were to agree that what President Trump said that day "caused" the events at the Capitol, that does not mean that Speaker Pelosi and Democrats should not be forced to answer questions concerning why they were not better prepared in light of all the information that had come to them. Allowing only information that is in agreement with your conclusions is many things, but it hardly qualifies as defending the truth.
The answer to lies is the truth. The answer to bad information is more information. Democracy dies in the darkness, and the discussion must never put the premium on having anyone being the police to decide what is labeled truth, untruth, and lies, nor on allowing anyone to decide what it is that we see and discuss. After all, there is a long history where what we believed to be true one day, we decide is not on another day, based on the free flow of information.
Tell me what you believe, as well as the facts and information you are utilizing to form that conclusion. I will do the same for you. Do not ever tell me your point of view will be the only one that is seen and heard. I will insist, even if you are right, that freedom is more important than what you have determined to be the truth. It boggles the mind that those who so loudly celebrate the differences between us are so unwilling to embrace differences of opinion.
Jessica Curtis is the executive director of GOPAC.
Image via Pxhere.
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